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new beauty obsession: Stila Long Wear Lip Color

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 9:50AM by seouldiva 0 Comments -

it's been quite some time since my last genuine beauty post. truth is: i was feeling uninspired...

but last december, i met up with my friend Michele (aka the fabulous Sis On Strings of the Misnomer(s)) and she had on the most striking electric neon pink lipcolor. she told me it was STILA.

i nearly choked on my spit.

granted, i've been out of the beauty loop for a while, but my impression of Stila had always been of demure "white girl colors" of pinks, roses, nudes and plums...and those messy pump-lipgloss brush pens.  but BOY, was i wrong!

after reading some initial reviews on Makeup Alley, and considering a "B-" review from my homie Karen at Makeup and Beauty Blog, I was skeptical. but i popped over to Sephora to check out these so-called Long Wearing Lip Colors...and OMG - it was love at first swatch.

Stila Long Wear Lip Color Swatch from top to bottom: Exhilarating, Outrageous and Intriguing.

naturally, the 3 shades that interested me were all in a Matte finish. but we all know the Cardinal Rule of Lippees: Long Wear + Matte Finish = Sahara Desert on the lips.

but i was stupified: this product ACTUALLY lived up to it's claim that it doesn't feel drying on the lips!  BUT, I think there are a few things that need to be clarified.  for example, the Stila site says this is: A lipstick and lip gloss all in one that boasts extended wear while keeping lips feeling soft and smooth - never dry. The secret is a blend of patent-pending polymers that provide long-lasting wear with rich pigment that glides on like your favorite gloss.

let's keep it real here:

  • the product should be renamed Stila Long-ER Wear Lip Color:  as beauty consumers, we've been trained to think the words "long wear" means "it will stay on through food, drink and 8+ hours of rough & tumble".  this product: not so much.  if anything, its staying power is LONGER than a regular lipstick...but it's definitely no typical Long Wear product
  • "Patent-Pending Polymers":  i chuckle to myself every time i see the "P" word -- Polymers. after years and years of working in the beauty industry, i know that "Polymers" is a Product Development buzz word for "magic".  if you asked me specifically what it was, i couldn't tell you.
  • "Gloss"....maybe it's because i opted for the more matte finishes, but even the "creme" finishes I swatched...not so much gloss. if anything, it's a "satin" finish at best.
  • you could use it as a lipliner...but a helluva unprecise one.

(holy crap, please excuse the horrible lip-drawing!)

despite these slightly misleading things....it's official: I'M OBSESSED WITH THESE LIPEES.  why?

  • i love that it's a Long-ER wearing vs. a true Long-Wear lipee.  i mean, do you REALLY want something to be on your lips for 8+ hours? don't you wonder if that's toxic in the LEAST?
  • the wear is SO incredibly comfortable - i was SHOCKED.  it felt smooth, glided on effortlessly, and felt silky once on. did my lips feel HYDRATED? no -- nor did i expect them to. it's a MATTE lipstick, for crissake. (let's be real) but they were by far, one of the most comfortable wears i've experienced for a matte shade in a while.
  • the colors were SO vivid and bright.  honestly, i was really surprised to see these types of shades from Stila.  (granted, i chose the 3 brightest shades in the line -- the others were the typical "white girl" shades of nudes & pinks...)


VERDICT:  Seouldiva Says MOS DEF.



My First Superbowl: lessons learned

Sun, 02/06/2011 - 7:16PM by seouldiva 0 Comments -

it's no secret that i'm not a sports gal, which was all good & well for the life of a beauty publicist (girls & gays, baby!)

but because i am now a "social media strategist"....i felt obligated to tune in this year. after all, the superbowl IS like the Olympics of advertising.

so i hunkered down with some VINO and NO knowledge of football.

here's what i learned:

  • Foursquare only let you earn ONE badge for ONE team -- unlike the NBA playoffs, where they let you get either team's badges for shouting. WAY more conducive for us Badge Whores
  • COMMERCIALS:  all that hype, and nothing to show for it.  how hetero.
  • Eminem = one rich MF. #hellonurse!
  • Groupon: premature pride http://bit.ly/fgV3WD
  • Groupon: hindsight's a bitch, ain't it?  http://bit.ly/gSFTnr
  • Certain football players have better asses and better hair than I do. #jealous
  • Certain football players do NOT have better asses and better hair than I do. #grateful
  • NFL: congrats on having the best commercial of the night.  Hope it was worth all that money spent on licensing fees.


CONCLUSION: not too painful, but as usual -- my Twitter family made it all the more entertaining.  thanks, fam! ;)

G'night err-body!


happy Saturday song! Steely Dan "PEG"

Sat, 01/08/2011 - 7:54AM by seouldiva 0 Comments -

after hearing Andrew Andrew play this song the other night at Riff Raff's, it reminded me just how HAPPY this song make ya feel.

happy weekend, errybody!


which photo-sharing service is best?

Fri, 01/07/2011 - 8:32PM by seouldiva 0 Comments -

i'm all for choices, but sometimes...enough's enough! in the advent of the digital age, we are now met with a HOST of options when it comes to sharing our digital photography handiwork.

my personal goal is simple: to have one consolidated place that can house ALL my photos, funky-fresh effects and all.  but i'm having a hard time discerning which one to use...and stick with.

which has lasting power? what makes is seamless between all of your social properties??



new year, new life

Fri, 01/07/2011 - 12:58PM by seouldiva 0 Comments -

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Whenever a new year begins, there's always a feeling of hope, the promise of change, the possibilities of new beginnings. This year, I know all these things will manifest in my life.


Among many other things, 2 very significant changes happened in my life at the end of 2010. Because of these things, I already know 2011 will be a year of tremendous growth and evolution.



As some of you may already know, after over 3.5 glorious years, I'm leaving my MAC family.  It's hard for me to conceive - even now. Leaving was never a thought I even entertained, but it seemed Universe had different plans for me.


Even though Beauty is one of my passions (there's something so powerful about making someone feel better about themselves, even if it's just looks), I received an incredible opportunity to focus on another one of my passions: Social Media.


So next Monday, I'll be embarking on a new professional journey. Am I excited? Yes. Nervous? Hell ass yes. But I believe that there is no growth without challenges and discomfort, and I'm truly excited by this opportunity to grow.




I've never been a religious person. Yes, I went to Catholic school when I was younger (complete with plaid-skirt uniforms), but there was always an oppressive air and exclusionary nature that I found inherent in all religions... So after my stint at school, religion was never something that was a part of my life.


Like so many around me, I claimed I was spiritual, but not religious.


Back in November, a good friend was telling me about how her heart got broken. When I asked her how she was coping, she told me her Buddhist faith really helped her turn this "poison into medicine" -- meaning it helped her turn this horrible situation into something valuable for her.  I was fascinated how something like a religion could possible do this.



She started telling me about chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, which loosely means, "I devote myself to the Mystic Law of Cause & Effect through the vibration of sound."  OK, I thought...I can dig that. Tell me more. She explained that SGI Buddhism was a lay organization -- no priests, no hierarchy. It was based on the belief that everyone has the equal ability to attain Buddhahood in this lifetime, through their practice, faith and study.


The more I heard, the more I found myself thinking..."OK...OK..." as opposed to my normal reaction of "WTF kind of religious BS is this?!"


So I went with her to my first meeting on November 7, 2010. Even though I didn't understand it fully, I started chanting the following day: just 5-10 minutes in the morning, then 5-10 minutes at night. I didn't even know what to chant for...I just did it.  Then -- my life started to change.


In addition to getting my first interview for my new job the FOLLOWING week, I experienced resolutions to unresolved heartaches, courage, a higher capacity of compassion for others, and an overall sense of unshakeable happiness that I had never felt before.


I didn't even realize what was happening.  But now, I know that this practice brought something to my life that was missing -- FAITH.  Although I considered myself very spiritual, which included a deeply devoted yoga practice and regularly reading spiritual texts...there was no FAITH in my spirituality.


SGI President Daisaku Ikeda said about Faith: "In Buddhism, faith means a pure heart, a flexible spirit and an open mind. Faith is the function of human life to dispel the dark clouds of doubt, anxiety and regret, and sincerely open and direct one's heart toward something great."


On December 5, 2010, I received my Gohonzon (the object of devotion/mandala) and have since instated a dedicated practice in my life.  I'm really looking forward to developing my faith this upcoming year.  Just from practicing as a novice over the past two months, my life has already changed leaps and bounds.  I can only imagine how my life will continue to grow as my practice does.


Sorry for a very lengthy post, but I had a lot to share and get off my chest. Let's bring in the new year with joy and positivity!! Yay, 2011!!


VIDEO of my KoreAm Unforgettable 2010 Performance!

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 8:45PM by seouldiva 0 Comments -

hey fam!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! HAPPY SOLAR ECLIPSE...and Happy New Moon! Such an epic day today.

Hope you and your respective families all had joyous, happy holidays.  Just saw that the fine folks over at KoreAm posted this fab video of my performance at their Unforgettable Gala back in November of 2010!

I've never been nervous in my life, but being in a room full of so many of my fellow successful Asian-American peeps was just mind-blowing.  #GoUAsians!

Hope you enjoy! :)

More music news and new songs to come in 2011!!! :)

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(please excuse the sound quality in the beginning - they blew out their sound system minutes before I went on...of course! LOL)


Apparently, I'm big in Japan...domo arigato!!

Tue, 01/04/2011 - 8:04PM by seouldiva 0 Comments -

So soon after the release of my album STAY, my producer Steve Francisnegotiated a deal to have my album sold in HMV and Tower Records in JAPAN!

Today, someone just sent over these photos of the album in 3 different stores!

Kinda geeking out over the fact that I’m being compared to SADE!! I die.


gig on 12/7 @ Fatbaby's, NYC (and some other news!)

Tue, 11/30/2010 - 9:16PM by seouldiva 0 Comments -


hey family,
hope y'all had a warm, happy and healthy holiday. there's been a lot of news and fun developments happening, but i know how crazy everyone's emails can get -- so i really try to keep these updates to a minimum out of respect. so brace yourselves for a lot of news! :)

this will probably be the last gig of 2010 ~ can you believe the year is over?
will be doing a short & sweet acoustic set with the amazing Shelton Garner, and my gals.
come by, hang out and chill with us!
$2!!!! ←cheap at twice the price!!



just got pretty exciting news this past weekend while doing a pre-taped radio interview -- "Just Can't Wait" debuted at #30 on the UK Soul Charts and we just found out it inched up to #24 this upcoming week! Laughing very exciting and humbling, knowing folks across the pond are digging the music!


thanks to the masterful work of my producer Steve Francis, STAY is now being carried at HMV and Tower Records locations in Japan!! they were kind enough to send over some pics of the album in-store. check it out-- on a listening station!!


STAY now available on Amazon.com!
due to popular request, we finally have STAY available for purchase on Amazon.com! Click HERE to buy!

but don't fret, it's still available on iTunes for the rest of the free world....
as well as CD Baby for those of us who still like holding a physical CD!

the weekend of November 20th, i was so honored to be one of the performers at the KoreAm Unforgettable 2010 Gala! the event was star-studded and brimming with talent. i was so fortunate to share the stage with Poreotics, KeroOne and the dreamy Brian Joo!

not only was it an honor to perform, but it was INCREDIBLE to be in a room full of beautiful, powerful, successful Asian-Americans. #GoUAsians!!!!



it's cold season! here's an all-natural cough "syrup" recipe

Tue, 11/30/2010 - 4:03PM by seouldiva 0 Comments -

after a grueling work week prepping for Thanksgiving, my parents were both feeling under the weather this past weekend.  both of them had a nasty cough that kept them up at night.

luckily for them, one of their customers Ruth Ann, provided them with a recipe for an all-natural cough "syrup".

keep in mind, it may not look or taste pretty -- but by the same token, do you really like how Robitussin tastes?

here's the recipe:

  • thinly slice 1 red onion
  • layer each slice in a container, drizzle honey in between each layer
  • squeeze juice from 1 whole lemon

once you set aside this concoction in a container, what you end up getting is this juicy syrup.  pinch your nose, take a few swigs...and VOILA!  no more coughs!

once you're done with the juice, you can munch on the onions (if you're extra brave!)

if you're looking for a homeopathic alternative to cough medicine, this might just do the trick!

this message is Momma & Poppa Park approved!




RECIPE: cacao latte made with hemp seed milk!

Sun, 11/28/2010 - 5:46PM by seouldiva 0 Comments -

i bought a huge bag of raw organic hemp seeds a while back -- i read a lot about people making hemp seed milk from it.  and the major appeal of hemp seeds: you don't have to pre-soak them before you make milk!

this "lazy factor" was a huge draw for me.

unfortunately, when i made my first batch - i really didn't like the taste.  it had this nutty, green, bitter flavor to the milkiness...something very unappealing to my palette. so i had this huge bag sitting in my pantry for a while.

this morning, i thought i'd try my hand at making my cacao latte with hemp seed milk instead of cashew nut milk (if there's such a thing as cashew toxicity...i think i might have it! i OD on that stuff!)

i was SO pleasantly surprised to find that it was DELICIOUS!!  the cacao powder masked the weird flavor of the hemp seed, and if anything, the greeny/bitter flavor added more depth to the chocolate flavor! :)

  • 1/4 cup of raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup of raw organice hemp seeds
  • 3 TBS of raw agave nectar
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 cups of filtered water



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