Monthly Favorites: January 2017

January is pretty much over, and I can’t believe how fast 2017 is already going by! It’s kind of scary that I can go out in shorts already (but this is Texas…). I discovered and re-discovered a lot of great products this month that I wanted to share! So many are famous, but famous for a reason.

Sunday Riley Tidal Moisturizer

I got this little sample at Sephora when I was buying a lipstick (of course I was!) and I have been loving it! It goes on watery but dries almost matte on the skin, locking in the moisture and also controlling oil at the same time. I have extremely oily skin, and I can use this without a problem. It also has brightening properties, which is great for acne scarring.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

I have been having some major breakouts since I have been off the pill and spironolactone, so for spot treatment I have been using this! It must be used at night since it dries on quite crusty and pink (oh yeah how gross is that) but when morning comes, the paupules will be dried out and shrunken! I have found that this doesn’t really work for cystic acne, but it does work great for whiteheads and paupules.

Laura Mercier Setting Powder

OMG. This stuff really does get rid of pores (at least for the time you have your make-up on)! The trick is to use a buffing brush or a powder puff to apply this instead of a fluffy brush. It really sets base make up better than any other powder I’ve used. The hype is REAL.

Hada Labo Whitening Lotion

I actually used to use this a few years ago when I was trying to diminish acne scars, and since I had the terrible breakouts near the end of 2016, I decided this was probably a good idea to help with the scarring that had occured. In just the few weeks I’ve been using it, my scars have lightened! It’s a great addition to my skin care routine.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray

Another hyped product, this facial spray is great for a setting spray after make up, and it’s also very matteifying to use right after moisturizer. The bottle even says you can use it on your hair, but I just stick to my face. I have a feeling I’m going to be loving this in summer time the most.

Benefit Gimme Brow Gel Tint

After I got my brows waxed for the first time at Miniluxe Salon, I decided to do away with pencil brow products and find something more natural. In Asia, tinted brow gels are very popular, and Benefit’s Gimme Brow tinted gel got great reviews. This is the mini size in the shade 3, and it goes perfectly with my hair color and skin tone. It comes out at a warm medium brown color. I love the fact that Benefit’s products usually come in a travel mini size because not only can you carry around your fav make up products in your purse, but also you can try it at a fraction of the cost before you commit to the bigger size. I can say with confidence that I am definitely buying the full size of this product!

Dr. Jart Black Label BB Cream

Dr. Jart BB Cream is one of the few that provide almost full coverage without looking too cakey like some foundations would. I always trust the Korean brands over the American BB Creams because the American brands I’ve tried are more like tinted moisturizers. This one in particular is for acne prone skin. I don’t get very oily while wearing this with a primer and a setting powder. This is one of those perfect, everyday base make up items.

Hourglass Viel Primer

Speaking of primers! This primer is yet ANOTHER hyped product. But, it’s sooo good for oily skin. I have super super SUPER oily skin ever since I got off all of my meds, and this is great! I would say, however, that a good affordable dupe for this product is the Rimmel Stay Matte primer.

Dior Rouge Bal

I did a full review on this product earlier this month. This is one of my holy grail lipsticks. I may have a lot of lipsticks, but there are only a few I can actually wear everyday, not for a shoot, because my lips are dry and I can’t use most lip balms (I break out). This is a light pinky nude shade that looks innocent with a little blush on the cheeks.

Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo Seeker

I actually picked this up at Sephora while I was there to get the Veil Primer mentioned above, and I’m really glad I did. This is a very easy color, and the formula is creamy and a bit sheer. But best of all, even though this is close to a tinted lip balm, it doesn’t break me out like most do! Fingers crossed!

Chanel Rouge Coco Cecile

This is another everyday lipstick. It actually matches so well with my lips that the only thing it adds is the shimmer. I think it’s great for a no make up make up look.

MAC Fast Play

I was looking for a reddish version of the other shade by MAC called Cosmo, and this is definitely it. The formula is also an amplified finish, and it is similar to Cosmo, but less pink and more on the red side. When swatches on the hand, it looks muavey, but when I wear this on my lips it looks like a perfect red on me. I really don’t understand!  XD


I think I went a little product crazy this month, which is really ironic because I was hoping to be better with my spending habits this year, but it also ties into my other resolution, which was to clear up my skin. Most of these are skincare products, right?! Anyway, I hope to do full reviews of the products mentioned today. On to February!



Dallasite: MiniLux Highland Park Yelp Elite Event

Yelp Dallas has started their 2017 Elite events! There was actually an event before this, but I couldn’t attend due to a clash in schedules. This particular event was at Minluxe in Highland Park, Dallas, TX.

Miniluxe is a high-end nail and waxing salon, first starting in Boston, MA. In recent years they have expanded and there are five locations in the Dallas area so far. 

Miniluxe sets themselves apart from the usual market by being extremely sterile. Everything used on customers are sanitized using advanced techniques in their Clean Lab. They are also very customer service oriented and go out of their way to make each guest feel at home. 

At the Yelp Elite Event, they were offering color refreshes on nails and toes, facial waxes, and massages. Since I have on Nexgen nails, I couldn’t take advantage of their nail services, but I did do my first ever eyebrow wax, and now I’m not sure if I can go on without doing it again (pictures will come in later posts… muahaha). I’m considering having my Nexgen removed and having a Miniluxe manicure. The true test to see if I have cured my dermatophagia. If you’re not familiar with dermatophagia, please check out my article on it published on The Mighty.

Overall, it was a great way to kick off 2017 Yelp Dallas, and I can’t wait to visit the Miniluxe Salon in my area of Dallas.


Dior Rouge Lipstick Swatches (555 Dolce Vita and 250 Bal)

Dior Rouge lipstick is probably one of the holy grail lipsticks for dry lips, as is the Chanel Rouge Coco line and the YSL Volupte Shine. I actually found this lipstick in a Japanese magazine when I was looking for pinks. I had been wearing the MAC Cosmetics “Cosmo,” which is an amplified formula, but I wanted to find a similar shade in Dior, because the shade was so similar to my natural lip. I think I have finally found my “my lips but better” shade.

Dior Rouge Lipstick Swatches

Before I review, please note the following regarding my skin type:

Skin Shade: Fair

Skin Type: Oily

Acne: Prone to hormonal areas (jawline, chin, mouth)

Lip Color: Light Muave

Lip Type: Dry

Dior Rouge Bal Lipstick #250 Lip Swatch
Dior Rouge Lipstick Swatches

Dior Rouge in the color Bal #250 is my most recent “my lips but better” shade. It is very pink, more on the nude side than a true pink, but still very pink for most people. Since my natural lip color is more mauve than nude, it does come out to almost the same color as my lips. I think what makes Dior one of my favorites is the formulation. It is moisturizing, glides on smoothly, and best of all…. it fades well! I hate it when I have a great color on and it fades and suddenly I look like I woke up from a party the next morning, smudges all around the edges of my lips and the center chapped and bare. This one doesn’t do that.

Dior Rouge Dolce Vita #555 Lip Swatch

Dior Rouge Lipstick Swatches

Dolce Vita #555 is basically the darker, more vibrant pink version of Bal. Seriously, I first bought this lipstick thinking this would match my lips but nope, way too bright. I think anyone who wants to do the Korean styled lips could definitely use this color to pull it off. The formula is the same as Bal, and it does also fade well on my lip color.

One other thing I like about these lipsticks is the reapplication throughout the day is seamless. They fade after about three hours, but once reapplied, it does not dry or cake on the lips. I find that even just applying most of the color to the center part of my lips and blending it out with my finger is enough to give my lips a good amount of color because these are very pigmented.

Dior will definitely be in my top lipsticks for dry lips! Since I have dermatophagia, I still sometimes bite my lips and these still stay on through all of the abuse. That’s enough to get me hooked!


3CE x Lilymaymac Lipstick Swatches (908 Warm&Sweet and 119 Hold On)

Near the end of 2016, famous Instagram model, Lily Macapinlac, AKA Lilymaymac, partnered with 3CE, a famous mid-brand of Korean cosmetics, to create a collection of Lilymaymac lipsticks. Lily is famous worldwide for her nude plump lip look. Today I have two of the three lipsticks to review: 908 Warm&Sweet and 119 Hold On.

3CE x Lilymaymac Lipstick Swatches 908 Warm&Sweet and 119 Hold On

Before I review, please note the following regarding my skin type:

Skin Shade: Fair

Skin Type: Oily

Acne: Prone to hormonal areas (jawline, chin, mouth)

Lip Color: Light Muave

Lip Type: Dry


Lilymaymac x 3CE Lipstick Swatches

3CE x Lilymaymac Lipstick Swatches 908 Warm&Sweet and 119 Hold On

As you can probably tell, the shades look so similar on my arm swatch. Because they are similar. Really, Hold On lipstick is probably just a bit lighter than Warm&Sweet. They do look different on the lips, however.

Lilymaymac x 3CE Lipstick 908 Warm&Sweet Lip Swatch

3CE x Lilymaymac Lipstick Swatches 908 Warm&Sweet and 119 Hold On

I really do love this color with my skin tone; it makes me glow! It is the perfect all year round color. The color is just between a brick red and a brown peach color. It is very similar to MAC Cosmetics’ Kinda Sexy. The problem with this lipstick for me is… it’s so matte. Even more matte than the MAC lipsticks. I can’t wear them because they dry so fast on my lips. They are super drying. However, if you can wear matte lipsticks, this color is amazing, so I would highly recommend trying it. Dry lips are a nope, though.


Lilymaymac x 3CE Lipstick 119 Hold On Lip Swatch

3CE x Lilymaymac Lipstick Swatches 908 Warm&Sweet and 119 Hold On

The formula problem is the same with this on, Hold On. It is super drying. However, the color is really sweet and I can see this being a favorite color. The color is similar to Velvet Teddy or Honey Love by MAC Cosmetics. I have been using this as a blush, actually.

The staying power seems pretty good, but when it faded on my dry lips, it exaggerated the cracks and built up to the sides of my lips and away from the middle. Not very sexy, eh?

The Lilymaymac x 3CE lipsticks are definitely for people who can use matte lipsticks. These are even more drying than some of the MAC matte lipstick, and those are pretty drying. Unfortunately, I cannot wear these two beautiful colors, 908 Warm&Sweet or 119 Hold On, even tho the colors go very nice with my skin tone and hair. I guess I’ll be using them as blushes for now. :/

I recommend ordering these from Ebay because when I first tried to order these on the StyleNanda website, the shipping to the USA is $20. That’s ridiculous! On Ebay, you can buy the lipstick and get free shipping and you’ll still have to wait the same amount of time.

Good Luck on your perfect lipstick hunt!


Tips for Oily Skin


The forced daily routine: look at your face in the mirror, blot oil from your nose and forehead. Why is this happening? I only put on my make up about two hours ago! Wtf

Having oily skin is worse than having dry skin. Because you still have dry skin under all the sebum. And sometimes you think you have combination skin… on the same areas! Is it possible to be oily and dry at the same places?

Well, I won’t talk about all the science behind it all, because I’m sure you’ve heard all about why you have oily skin, but what you’d really like to do is know how to control it!  I know for myself, I have been trying to control my oily skin for years, and from many agonizing school and work days suffering from my trial and error, here are the top 5 things you can do to control your oily skin!

1. Stop Using Harsh Exfoliants

People with a normal skin type like to talk about how they are using St.Ives face scrub or this new coffee scrub or whatever. I personally used the Lush Herbalism face scrub. BAD IDEA, GUYS! Using scrubs like this on your face is a harsh exfoliant and will disrupt the skin’s pH levels the “mantle” on your skin. And when this happens, you overproduce oil! It was terrible. The first week I used it, my skin became oily within 30 minutes of washing it and putting on my normal make up. Do you know how annoying it is to blot your face every 30 minutes during a work day? So yes, don’t use harsh exfoliants.

So what do you use to exfoliate then? There are a few choices. There are chemical peels, which will exfoliate your skin without the friction. There is something called Japanese water jelly, which will pick up the dead skin on your face. And then there are micro scrubs you can get, which have an exfoliant so small that it will not disrupt the pH mantle.  What ever you do, do not get a face scrub!

2. Spray Your Setting Spray Before Putting on Makeup

This seems backwards, but if you do this, the oil will have a layer to be absorbed before the foundation! If you use a primer, it should go in this order: setting spray, primer, foundation, powder, setting spray. It makes the foundation lasts so much longer!

3. Use a Damp Beauty Blender to Pat on Your Setting Powder

By doing this, you will be super-setting the powder into your skin, which helps you stay matte longer. Even using a dry beauty blender works, but the damp one works even better. Just make sure to use a translucent powder, preferably one specially made for oil control.

4. Use a Moisturizer for Oily Skin

For the past few months, I’ve been using Desert Essence’s Oil Control Face Lotion, and it makes a huge difference when I use it compared to when I used regular moisturizers or sunscreens under make up. I think the witch hazel helps a lot in this particular lotion. Another one that was great on oily skin was Alba Botanica’s Green Tea moisturizer. As long as it is an oil-free moisturizer formulated for oily skin, it should help control the oil on your face during the day.

5. Be Aware of Acne-Causing Products

Oily skin is often over-producing sebum, causing clogged pores. This leads to acne-prone skin. Some products that might cause even more pore-clogging sebum are lip balms, balm tints, toothpastes containing Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, exfoliating scrubs, and a handful of other products. Do your research to be sure that what you are using is for sensitive skin. Destroying the skin mantle can turn your oily face into an even more oily and acne-ridden face.

These tips are all from personal experience. I am not a doctor or a dermatologist. But I have battled with oily skin and acne my entire adult life, and I understand the frustration. I am still searching for solutions for both oily skin and acne, so hopefully soon there will be a blog post showing that I have overcome it!

Good luck!


xo Nicoco

Dressing Up for Yourself

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OOTD: Top – Target | Jeans – Forever 21 | Bag – Zara





This is a blog of a girl who is learning to pick up the pieces in a world of shattered dreams. The skewed perspectives of what was once reality, but sadly only in the mind. Trying to figure out how to not feel empty with human interaction when the picture of it was so much more alive in her head. Interpreting what it means to express oneself in a decent manner. Finding happiness in the smallest of actions, meaning in the most fleeting of moments, and understanding behind other’s actions as well as oneself.

It’s hard to find meaning in a life you don’t enjoy. It takes a lot of discipline to change it and steer it towards something you do like. Finding those pockets of escapism helps along the way. One of the things that keeps me going is trying to be the best version of myself. Trying to keep up with health while still enjoying myself, wearing outfits that make me feel confident without breaking the bank, and continuously finding the best beauty products to help my skin and hair.

Work is one of those unavoidable situations where it’s hard to find motivation to dress nicely. But I’ve found that if you let yourself go at work and don’t at least dress up for yourself, your attitude will follow. You will feel less than what you are. You will perform less than your potential. Your confidence is more likely to sway and start a spiral of depression. It sounds silly, but dressing up for yourself is important. You have to make yourself understand that you are worth it, you are successful, and you deserve to show up looking the best that you are.

It doesn’t have to be the most expensive outfit, or the most done-up makeup. But what it does have to be is genuinely what makes you happy, within dress code of course. I see a lot of offices going to a casual office dress code, and so many women letting themselves wear just a printed t-shirt. If you work in an office, don’t lose yourself in the routine. Take time to take care of yourself. Take time to treat yourself. And most of all, don’t let it take away your confidence.



PS. For a limited time, Forever 21 is having their 50% off winter sale! It’s ending in 3 days, so shop early to get the best deals!
Shop Forever 21: Winter Sale Up to 50% Off

YSL Lipsticks | Swatches and Review

Yves Saint Laurent: the perfect picture of elegance. Especially the lipsticks. I remember seeing just the packaging for the rouge volupte shine lipsticks in YouTube room tour videos and in stores and thinking that it was the perfect tube of lipstick. The swatches in videos and on Pinterest and on the blogs were very vibrant and glossy-looking. I wanted at least one.


But of course, at around $40 each, it is a pretty steep investment. I needed to do some research. This included hundreds of swatch videos, and going back and forth in my mind on whether to get a nude lipstick or a vibrant one. I ended up choosing the nude, because I was very into nude lipsticks at the time (I swear I have like ten of almost the same color in my MAC lipsticks).


Now after several purchases, I have three nude colors and three vibrant colors, and I go through phases on whether I want to wear something bright or nude on my lips. I’m totally hooked on the brand, but I still think I haven’t found the “perfect color,” if there is such a thing.


The one thing about these lipsticks is the color is not true to what it looks like in pictures. This is one of those things where you need to go in the store and try it yourself because every time I read reviews like this, my lips look different with the lipstick at the store than the person online. They are not true to color like most of the MAC lipsticks are. That being said, please use this review to determine a color you like and then go in store to see if it suits you. I don’t recommend ordering online for this reason.

YSL Rouge Volupte


My first YSL lippy purchase was a Rouge Volupte. It is the color “Ultimate Beige” #3, and it is a deep beige-pink. I remember at first I didn’t like the way it spread on my lips, but after I wore down the stick, it spread more evenly. The texture is creamy but not shiny. I think this shade has really grown on me and I would recommend this for autumn/winter.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine


My second purchase was a Rouge Volupte Shine in the color “Corail Intuitive” #15. This one I don’t use often on my lips, because it is so light compared to my natural lip color. It’s a very light peach color that actually is a great blush for the cheek. So I’ve been using it as a blush. But for a person with less pigmented lips, this is a great coral peach lipstick with high shine.


My third purchase was the color “Pink in Confidence” #8 in the Shines. This one I was expecting to be more pink on the lips, but for some reason comes out as a very sheer nude for me. It’s pretty much my lip color exactly. I have to wear a liner with this lipstick to make it look good, so I don’t find myself often carrying this one around unless I am really looking for a my lips but better shade and I don’t mind also taking my MAC lipliner with me.


The forth lipstick I purchased was a bright and vibrant color in the shade “Orange Perfecto” #46, which is NOT orange at all. I love the color, but it is definitely a pink. It’s almost a hot pink color, a little more on the warm side.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Tint-in-Oil


The YSL 2016 Holiday collection came out on the YSL website, and the color I ordered was “Red in Rebellion” #53, which to me, wasn’t very red. It was more pinky than red on my lips, which is why I do not recommend ordering online. You need to go in store to figure out what the real color will look like on the lips. Doesn’t it look totally pinky?!

YSL Rouge Pur Couture


This formula is much like the satins of MAC. It can get a bit drying, but overall it is very creamy. If you have super dry lips, I would recommend getting a color that is similar to your lip color so it will fade well as it dries out. This is the color “Bois de Rose” #66, and it is very similar to my actual lip color, making it the perfect nude lip. This is definitely my favorite “my lips but better” lipstick. The packaging of this line is great because the tube also makes a good quick mirror.

YSL Volupte Sheer Candy


These are supposed to be tinted balms, but honestly I use this as a hydrating lipstick. The color looks very subtle in the skin swatch, but on the lips, it appears more pigmented. I love this color “Sweet Fig,” #7, because its the only berry-autumn lipstick that won’t make me look ridiculous. I think this is much better than the Benefit Balm tints. Compared to those, this is definitely more pigmented.


Overall, here is a comparison of the lipsticks mentioned above:


From bottom to top:

Rouge Volupte #3 Ultimate Beige

Rouge Volupte Shine #15 Peach Passion

Rouge Volupte Shine #8 Pink in Confidence

Rouge Volupte Shine #46 Orange Perfecto

Rouge Volupte Shine Oil in Stick #53 Red in Rebellion

Rouge Pur Couture #66 Bois de Rose

Volupte Sheer Candy #7 Sweet Fig


Wearing Rouge Fur Couture “Bois de Rose”

Would I recommend these lipsticks? Yes, I think it is a great investment, and I like the formulas a lot better than all of my MAC lipsticks at the moment. I did try a few different ones not mentioned here, including the cream tint and the glossy tint, and they did not work out for me because of my dry lips, so I do not suggest buying those.

The packaging is beautiful, the colors are wide variety, and the formulas are good for dry lips. But remember, don’t take my word for it, go in store and swatch them yourself! Sephora and Nordstrom usually carry most of the full lines of lipsticks for YSL.

xo  Nicoco

But I Will Never Be That Girl









OOTD: Dress + Cardigan – Forever21 | Bag – Calvin Klein | Shoes -Coach




I’ll never be the girl who I’m envious of because I don’t see myself from afar. I won’t be the girl who has it all together and chills at cafes. I know surely I am not the girl who knows how to unlock her motivations to be better everyday. I’m not sure I’ll even be the girl who always has blended make up, elegant movements, and a bag that she’s happy with wearing for more than a week.

I wonder if that girl even exists? Will you find her strolling through these university halls, smiling to herself? Will you see her at the beach, wearing a Triangl brand bikini, with her flowing scarf trailing behind her in the ocean breeze? Maybe she’s in a high rise building, sipping on her morning coffee in downtown Addison.

I think it’s a bit of both. Maybe I’m not that girl, but I’m just traces of her when I feel confident. Maybe the moments that I see others are captured in the right fleeting moments when their confidence is brimming and they understand that no matter what, they have to love themselves, because if they won’t who will be able to see what they can do for this world?

It’s never all the time. I will never be that girl. But maybe sometimes, she will be me, and through all of my clumsiness, all of my faults, all of my mundane routines, and through all of my hardships, she will spark at certain moments. And maybe others will see her through me, even when I can’t.



The Pride of Long Hair






OOTD: Top – Ivanka Trump | Shorts – American Eagle | Sandals – White Mountain | Clutch – Coach | Necklace – Piercing Pagoda




In many cultures, long hair is the symbol of being a woman. For some religions, it’s signifies that the woman is deeply invested in that religion. It’s a trait of standard beauty, and for many women, hair is something that identifies who they are.

It takes so much time to grow out, so much effort to keep it healthy, and diligence to maintain the quality of the hair as it grows. I remember oiling my hair everyday for a year, braiding it back into a single dutch braid. It limited my hair styles and flexibility. I took fish oil, biotin, a protein shake, MSM supplements and constantly researched how to grow my hair faster. I couldn’t dye my hair, style it with heat, or use abrasive products. It was definitely an all-consuming process, but it was worth it. Last summer I had my hair down to my waist.

In Japan, people take cutting hair as a symbol of loss. Lose the one you love, cut your hair. Feel ashamed by something you have done, cut your hair. In many Western cultures, people cut their hair to cure the boredom or to provide a change. For me, I think it’s a bit of both. I recently cut my hair to medium-short length. From waist length to just above my chest. For a lot of people, that’s still quite long. But for anyone who has long hair, you will understand when I say that it’s a huge change. Your hair isn’t what defines you any longer. When you have long hair, people describe you by your hair. They notice you because of it. But when it’s chopped off, maybe it feels like taking away a part of you.

I don’t want to be completely defined by my hair. I want a change for the better. And I’m still moving on from leaving my home of 13 years. Chopping off the length means change stemming from the loss to me. To not let it define me.

It kind of sounds ridiculous to me. But it’s true: I’m not the girl with long braids. I’m the one who is silently reaching her way to the top.



For the first time in my life, I had my hair dyed to a more drastic change…. Red hair. 

My good friend is a hair stylist, and she was able to get my blonde balayage into a red one. My hair is now an array of different types of reds and I love it. It seems like it will fade into a nice color and gracefully grow into my real hair color at the top. 

Some days it looks reddish-brown, sometimes it even looks pink…. Ah, I just am really happy with the results!

Side note, I’m starting up yoga and about to try to quit drinking in attempt to get ready for warm weather. My curves are getting too curvy for my frame nowadays. Sigh. 

I don’t think I’ll be dying my hair anytime soon, but when I get a hang of how to manage it, I will be doing a hair care post!