BOOK REVIEW | The Psychopath Test


cr: Amazon


The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry, by Jon Ronson, is, to put it simply, a nonfiction book that explores psychopathy, the psychiatric/psychological world, and more. With just that one sentence, it would seem that this book is boring. However, it is anything but.

Ronson takes the readers on a journey, starting with a baffling puzzle sent out to top neurologists in the world. From there, he starts his journey through the titular madness industry, which takes him from prisons to the church of Scientology to conspiracy theorists to the (also titular) psychopath test.

I’m very picky about nonfiction books, not because I’m a snobby reader or anything, but because I get easily bored if the information isn’t presented in a way that’s entertaining to me. I initially picked up this book because I’m very into crime and true crime, and the topic of psychopathy is in that vein. I wasn’t expecting much, but Ronson weaves all of these varying bits of information and anecdotes from his own research for this book that really made The Psychopath Test an easy and enjoyable read.

That being said, this isn’t a book I’d recommend if you’re actually trying to learn about psychopathy – it’s definitely more of a book where, as a reader, you’re just along for the ride as Ronson himself delves into this world, though it does still include a lot of history and facts about psychopathy, mental illnesses, and the madness industry. Ronson really did his research.

Regardless, I highly recommend this book, and I want to look into reading his other books as well.

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AT A GLANCE | Biossance

Biossance is a skincare company based in the Bay Area (yay!) that has its focus on effective, safe skincare that also does not harm the environment or animals. One of the core ingredients in the majority of their products is squalane, something that your skin naturally has, but which your body makes less of over the years, and Biossance harvests this squalane from a sustainable source, sugarcane.

I’ve long heard many good things about Biossance products, specifically their bestselling Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil (1 oz, $72), and the company’s focus on clean beauty only furthered my interest in what it had to offer. A couple of months ago, I finally decided to give some Biossance products a try.

Products in My Collection

Out of the five products pictures, I’ve tried three. I’ve included my thoughts on the ones I’ve tried below:

  1. Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil (deluxe sample pictured here – full size is 1 oz, $72): I really enjoyed this, though honestly, I’m not sure if I would commit to a full-size product, as it’s quite pricey, and I have lower-priced oils that work just as well, if not better. I love the sample system that Biossance has on its site (more about this below) and will likely get a sample of this again in the future. I kept this in my travel pouch, and it got quite a few uses before I ran out.
  2. 100% Squalane Oil (deluxe sample pictured here – full size is 3.4 oz, $58): I probably enjoyed this even more than the Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil, because this one is multi-use. I particularly enjoyed using it on my hair. I will be repurchasing this in the future.
  3. Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel (0.5 oz, $54): I haven’t used this yet, but it’s next in line after I use up my current nighttime eye cream.
  4. Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer (1.6 oz, $52): I’ve been using this for a couple of weeks now as my daytime moisturizer, and I really enjoy it. My skin definitely feels more radiant since I started using this. The packaging is also great – it’s a pretty hefty feeling tub that feels like it could double as a weapon. I love trying new moisturizers so it’s difficult to say whether I’ll come back to it, but it’s definitely on the top of my list of repurchases if I don’t discover something new I’ll want to try.
  5. Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Cloths (25 cloths for $18): I received one cloth as a sample when I purchased the eye gel and moisturizer. I’ve yet to try this, but I’m keeping it in my beauty bag in my purse right now, on hand in case I ever need a makeup wipe. To be honest, I’m not sure I’ll ever purchase the full box, since I much prefer just getting drugstore wipes.

Biossance’s “Free” Sample Offering

As their products are pretty pricey, I really appreciate that they offer “free” samples to try via their site. For just a $5 shipping fee, you can choose from three different sets of deluxe samples.

  1. Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil and the 100% Squalane Oil
  2. Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel and 100% Squalane Oil
  3. Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer and Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil

All but the Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer sample are 4 ml (or approximately 0.14 oz). The gel moisturizer sample is 3 ml. When I got the samples, only option 1 was available, and personally, I think it’s where you’ll get the most bang for your buck. Oils only require a few drops per use, whereas a moisturizer or eye cream would require more.


Overall, I’m impressed, but not mindblown, by their products. They’ve released new products since I did this mini-haul though, and I’m definitely interested in giving those a try.

Have you tried Biossance products before?

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FAVORITES | April 2018

No excuses, but I failed to post last week 😦 I’ll really have to try harder to be more consistent in posting…

Anyways, April favorites! As I hadn’t really posted for most of the last few months, some of these items have been in use for more than just April. Can you believe it’s already May? The year’s gone by so quickly…

This month’s favorites includes beauty items, of course, as well a few fashion items, a movie, and a recipe!




  1. Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask (2.25 oz, $48): Let’s just say this deserves all the hype it’s getting. Stay tuned for a more detailed review.
  2. Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Weenie (0.074 oz, $5): I’ve been a longtime fan of the Colourpop Super Shock Shadows and of Kathleenlights, who created this shade as part of a collaboration with Colourpop. I had purchased this beautiful rose gold ultra-metallic shade right when it was released, but hadn’t used it until recently. It is as beautiful as it sounds. I actually use it as an everyday shade, applied with my fingers as a wash of color and shine on my lids, as the rose gold is rather subtle on my skin tone. However, I can definitely see myself using this shadow wet for a more dramatic look.
  3. Clinique High Impact Mascara in Black ($18 for full size): I got a deluxe sample of this mascara in one of those Sephora Favorites boxes, but just started using this in April after my previous mascara had dried up. I never expected much from this mascara, but I was so impressed from the very first time I used it. It’s definitely more of a natural look mascara, but it does an amazing job of lengthening my lashes. I never really purchase full size mascaras, but if I ever do, this one is definitely on my list.
  4. No7 Lift & Luminate Foundation in Warm Beige (1 oz, $15.99): From first application, I knew I was going to love this foundation. It was so easy to blend with a beauty sponge and looked like my skin but better. The formula definitely leaves your skin subtly glowy as promised, and I appreciate the SPF 15 as well. The relatively inexpensive price doesn’t hurt either.
  5. Botanics All Bright Foaming Face Wash (5 oz, $5.99): I’ve previously mentioned this in my post about Botanics, but didn’t get around to using it until a couple of months ago. Since I’ve started using it, it’s become a daily cleanser of mine. I started using it every morning, but now I prefer to use it at night. Despite being a foaming face wash, it doesn’t strip my skin at all, and my face still feels refreshed and clean afterwards. It’s also really affordable and easily found at Target, which only makes it more awesome.
  6. Glossier Body Hero Oil Wash (8.4 fl oz, $18 or save $5 with the Body Hero Duo): This body wash is amazing. I’ve never really used an oil wash before, and I loved how this one started as an oil, but lathers up as it interacts with water. My skin always feel moisturized but clean after using this, and it smells amazing. I also use it to shave. It’s more than I’d usually pay for a body wash, but I definitely plan on repurchasing in the future. I haven’t used the companion Daily Perfecting Cream yet, but plan on writing a review of the two together when I do.
  7. Face Brush ($1.50 at Daiso): To those of you who don’t know what Daiso is, it’s like the cooler Japanese cousin of the Dollar Store. Everything there is $1.50 unless marked otherwise, so it’s easy to get sucked into picking up things you didn’t intend to get when you set foot in the store. This face brush was one of those things. It looked like a tiny, manual version of the Foreo brush so I decided to give it a try. I love using this with the Botanics cleanser, and using this combo always makes my face feel extra clean and even slightly exfoliated without being abrasive at all. As a bonus, my dog loves when I brush her head with this, and it leaves her fur extra soft as well (yes, I clean the brush between using it for my face and for her face).
  8. Madewell Canvas Somerset Backpack in Acorn ($78): I’ve been wanting a cute but practical bag for a while, and I purchased this as soon as I had a discount code for Madewell. I wasn’t disappointed – the acorn color is beautiful, and it’s so nice to have my hands free, especially when I’m going on local hikes with my dog and my boyfriend on the weekend that don’t require a serious backpack. It’s also nice for just running out the door.
  9. Madewell Wrap Top in Star Scatter in Spicy Saffron (originally $69.50, now $29.99): I have been on a journey to incorporate more color into my wardrobe, and this top was just calling out my name. I’ve been loving shades of yellow in particular lately, hence the choice of this pattern and color. When I received the top, I loved it so much that I got another one Albury Stripe (originally $69.50, now $52.50). This wrap top is appropriate for work, but I can definitely see myself wearing it paired with shorts as well. For someone like me with a small frame but large bust, this is an amazingly flattering top that doesn’t also make you feel like you’re showing too much cleavage.
  10. A Quiet Place: I had been waiting to watch this since I saw the first trailer, and it did not disappoint. I won’t say much so as not to spoil anything, but if you’re into horror and/or thriller films, definitely give this one a watch.
  11. Mochi Muffins: These have been appearing at cafes everywhere in San Francisco and East Bay, and for good reason. They’re delicious. So I figured rather than spend up to $4 every time I want one, why not make my own? I found this recipe by the Tea Squirrel and adapted to my own tastes, replacing milk with coconut beverage (aka coconut milk in a carton), and omitted the sesame seeds and matcha. It was still delicious, though I may make more changes to adapt it more to my taste.

What were your favorites this past month?

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REVIEW | Glossier Solution

I know, it’s been a while since the Glossier Solution ($24, 4.4 fl oz) came out. But there was so much hype around its release that I thought it would deserve its own review post, even if I’m almost four months late to the party.

To be fair, as this is a skincare product, it does take a longer time to determine whether it actually works for me, and with four months of consistent usage, I think I’ve gathered enough data to give a comprehensive review 🙂



Upon receiving the package, I thought the silver packaging with drug information type labeling in pink and white was quite cute and clever. The bottle itself was in the typical millennial pink and aesthetic of many Glossier products, with minimal text and decoration on the bottle’s body, but still something very pretty to display in your bathroom. While initially I was confused as to how the dispenser worked (I tried to pull out the white thing in the middle – I know, extremely stupid of me), once I realized you pressed down on the dispenser with a cotton pad to saturate it with product, I fell in love. I wish more companies had dispensers like this one for their toner products – it’s so hygienic, and you don’t have to worry about accidentally using too much product.

I had mixed feelings upon first application of Solution to my face. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the overly medicinal scent, but it wasn’t so bad that it turned me away from the product. It didn’t sting at all, unless I applied it on a freshly popped pimple by accident, which makes sense, considering the toner only has a total of 10% blend of PHA/AHA/BHA acids.

For the first month of use, I made sure to use this every night as part of my skincare routine, so I could be sure of its effects on my face. I had thought that it was keeping my skin nice and clear, but as I continued using it daily through the rest of that first month, I felt that it was losing its potency on me. By then, I started alternating this every few days with other toners in my skincare collection.

Then, starting last month, I started getting the feeling that the toner was breaking me out. Granted, I was more stressed than I’d been in a while, but the Solution didn’t seem to be helping – if anything, it seemed to worsen any bumps that I seemed to develop consistently on my forehead. I’d apply Solution, concentrating it in my trouble spots, and rather than see a reduction in redness the next day, I’d see that the spot would be the same, or even worse than before.

I still continued to use it, wanting to give Solution all the opportunities to prove its worth, but as of last week, I decided that it wasn’t worth the condition of my face to continue on using Solution. I’m now back to using The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (no link, because due to recent occurrences with Deciem’s upper management, I’ve decided to cut The Ordinary out of my routine after I use up what I own).


As an additional note, the Glossier cotton pads were pretty nice. However, I definitely do not think that they are better than some other more affordable cotton pads that I have used. It’s $4 for 60 of them, whereas my usual cotton pads are only $1.50 at Daiso for 100 or more.

Overall, I’d say the Glossier Solution (and cotton pads) is a pass. Despite having a 10% acid blend, there’s no clarification as to how much exactly of each acid the Solution contains, which feels pretty questionable to me, though I could’ve overlooked that had it actually worked on my face.

Nothing personal, as there are other Glossier products that I enjoy plenty, but for a few more dollars, you could get something like Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid ($29, 4 oz), which I’ve found to have been much more effective. If you’d rather use something more affordable, the much-loved Pixi Glow Tonic ($15, 3.4 oz) is so, so good. It only has 5% glycolic acid, but I found it to be much more effective for me than the Glossier Solution. Of course, you could also go for The Ordinary’s glycolic acid toner.

Have you tried Glossier Solution before? How did it work for you?

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BOOK REVIEW | Everything I Never Told You

Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng, is a fiction novel about a mixed-race family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. The story starts with the disappearance and death of the middle child, sixteen-year-old Lydia, and from there, explores how each member of the family deals with the grief while also delving into each character and their relationship with the other members of the family.

This is a type of book that I normally would not have much interest in reading, but with my desire to support an Asian-American author and the book’s appearance on multiple must-read lists when it was first released, I felt like it was a no-brainer for me to give this book a try.

(Minor spoilers ahead)

First of all, I was actually pleasantly surprised to find out quite quickly that the book was about a mixed-race family. The book is marketed as about a Chinese-American family, and while that is still true, I appreciate that the book also has a focus on the struggle of being a mixed-race family in the 1970s.

Otherwise, to be honest, I had mixed feelings about the book. It started off strong, when it focused on how each of the family members dealt with their grief and each character’s struggles throughout their life. I felt deeply with the characters, each instance of sexism or racism each of them experiencing cutting deeply as they reminded me of some of my own experiences growing up as an Asian-American woman. I felt the weight each child had on their shoulders, whether from their parents’ expectations or from the pressure they put on themselves to succeed. At one point, the characters’ experiences became all too real to me that I actually considered putting the book down and never picking it back up. In the end, I managed to push myself to finish the book.

The book is a beautifully written one that is pretty easy to read, so it didn’t take much for me to breeze through it after a couple weeks’ break so that the sadness in the book wouldn’t weigh on me. As I read more though, I found myself also breezing through it so I could be done with it once and for all. While the themes that I previously mentioned continued throughout the book very wonderfully, the book also became a melodrama. The mother’s wordless disappearance from the family and the father’s infidelity with his graduate assistant are just two of examples of what I think are absurd plot points in relation to the novel. It just felt that anything dramatic introduced into the plot was done so solely to make the story seem more dramatic, not necessarily to value to the story. There’s also a frustrating lack in communication between all of the family members, to the point where I wanted to  give up on the book because it was that ludicrous.

Overall, I would’ve enjoyed this book much more had it not contained the melodramatics. This is, of course, my own opinion, which may be heavily influenced by the fact that I’m just normally not a fan of this type of book. That being said, I still would recommend this book to people, just with the caveat that you have to be ready for some soap opera type drama.

Have you read this book before? If so, let me know what you thought of it!

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REVIEW | Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème

I’m a big fan of the Ole Henriksen brand, so I had been looking forward to trying the Banana Bright Eye Crème (0.5 oz, $38) since the announcement of its release. Needless to say, I was extremely excited when I received this complimentary from Influenster for review. I’ve talked about Influenster and products I’ve received from them before, and I highly recommend you check them out if you like getting free stuff to review 🙂

I had a good feeling that I would enjoy this eye cream, since I’m a big sucker for vitamin C in my morning eye creams, and the collagen also seemed like a big plus, with its anti-aging and elasticity-improving benefits.

I’ve been trying it for a few weeks now, and I am not disappointed at all. The eye cream really does visibly brighten my under eye area, and while it’s a thicker consistency than I’m used to for the morning, it does a great job of moisturizing my eye area and prepping my under eye area for concealer. I’ve also noticed that when I use this eye cream, I don’t even need to use concealer if I’m not wearing much makeup – the banana powder effect to the eye cream means it can function as a light coverage concealer 🙂

With its multitasking abilities, this eye cream is definitely worth the money to me. I will likely be purchasing this with my own money after I run out.

Have you gotten to try the Banana Bright Eye Crème?

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REVIEW | Glossier Generation G Lipstick

For me (and probably a lot, if not all, of the beauty community), this year has been the year of Glossier. I had initially tried a couple of their products to mediocre results, but have since come to enjoy those after revisiting them. With this renewed interest in Glossier, I bit the bullet and hauled a few items (look out for that post!) that I had been eyeing through their Instagram, including this Generation G (0.07 oz, $18) lipstick in Zip, a poppy red.

I have to say, when I initially opened the tube, I was very wary – although this is a sheer matte lipstick, and pictures have proven this to be true, I was worried the color would be too bright and pull too orange on my face. I was so glad to be proven wrong – this is the perfect, everyday red for people who don’t really like bright statement lips – aka me. It gives that look of just kissed lips, yet at the same time, is pretty long wearing for such a sheer formula – it’s not transfer-proof by any means, but after a whole afternoon of wearing this, I didn’t see too much patchiness. I will definitely be looking into more colors of this lippie.

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a podcast feature, but I’ve been listening to New York Times’ The Daily almost religiously for at least a month now, so I figured it was time to give my thoughts on it.

As the name of the podcast suggests, The Daily is a daily podcast, Monday through Friday, that is around twenty minutes long. Each day’s episode focuses on one or two topics that pertain to recent news and events and gives a recap of other news that happened that day. For example, earlier this week and at the end of last week, the podcast had a couple of episodes centered on the events surrounding the U.S. government shutdown. Sometimes, episodes delve into pop culture news as well. With the release of the movie I, Tonya, the infamous figure skater, Tonya Harding, has come back into the spotlight, and this past Tuesday’s episode featured her.

It’s amazing how the podcast can use just twenty minutes to give a better understanding of a current event. One of my favorite episodes was one from a couple weeks ago, around when North and South Korea decided that they’d march together at the Winter Olympics this year and would have a joint women’s ice hockey team. The podcast provided a very in-depth background into the situation, including a pretty detailed account, given the time restraints of the episode, of the events that occurred the last time the Olympics were in South Korea in 1988.

I’d definitely recommend this podcast to everyone. Episodes are brief and independent of each other, making it a low-commitment podcast that still allows listeners to be up to date on current events and offers listeners a better understanding of those events.

The podcast can be found here or wherever you listen to podcasts. I listen to podcasts through the Apple Podcasts app on my phone.

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HAUL | e.l.f.

I definitely went a little ham with my shopping during the 2017 holiday shopping season. The two main culprits were Sephora and e.l.f., but I also bought a ton of stuff here and there that you’ll most likely see here on this blog throughout 2018, whether in the form of review posts or otherwise. I’ve already shared my Sephora haul, and now, keep reading to see what I purchased at e.l.f.!

As part of my goals and intentions of 2018, I really wanted to make more thoughtful purchases and be more conscious of where I spend my money. As such, in this new year, I want to try and keep to more affordable brands, unless it’s something that I think is one-of-a-kind from the more expensive brands… like the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial (review here). At least, that’s how I’m justifying this e.l.f. haul…


First, some skin care. The Hydrating Water Sheet Mask ($3) is a bit of a cheat, as I had purchased it earlier in 2017 with some other stuff. I have yet to use it, but I did enjoy the Hydrogel Under Eye Masks (3 for $8), so hopefully I’ll enjoy this as well. I’m hoping the Moisturizing Sleeping Mask (1.16 fl oz, $12) will be a good dupe for the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask (2.3 oz, $25), something I use and love, though if you’re looking at price per ounce, the two are actually around the same price. I have a feeling the Hydrating Water Essence (5 oz, $10) will be a good dupe for its pricier K-Beauty counterparts, and I’m always down to try a new exfoliant – hopefully the Gentle Peeling Exfoliant (3.4 fl oz, $10) works out for me.


As for makeup, I really tried to keep it to things that I would be running out of soon or don’t have already. I’ve been a long-time user of the Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray (4 oz, $32), but I wanted to try something more affordable. Hopefully, this Makeup Mist & Set (2.02 oz, $3) will do a decent job. I have to be honest and admit the Tinted Lip Oil in Nude Kiss ($6) doesn’t fit either of the criteria I set for purchasing makeup… I primarily purchased it because Kathleenlights on Youtube talked about the Tinted Lip Oils, and I got curious. I haven’t tried this yet because I’m still working on my other lip products, but I’ll let you all know whenever I try it and my thoughts. For mascara primer, the Lancôme CILS BOOSTER XL Super-Enhancing Mascara Base (0.19 oz, $25.50) has been my ride-or-die since I started using mascara primer, though at $25.50 a tube, I thought it was time to look for drugstore alternatives. Enter the Mascara Primer ($3) – if this works well it’ll be time for me to let go of my expensive lash primer. Finally, I wanted something that allowed for easy application of the inner corner highlight on the eyes, and the No Budge Shadow Stick in Perfect Pearl (0.056 oz, $3) was the perfect find for this very use. Perfect Pearl is a great champagne shade that works well as an inner-corner highlight with many different eye shadow looks. This product is also a great dupe for the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick (0.05 oz, $29).

Have you purchased anything from e.l.f. lately? If so, any good finds?

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REVIEW | Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial

The Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial (1.69 fl oz, $80) is a ridiculously expensive product. I thought I would never purchase this, but with the Sephora VIB Sale, my need to qualify for VIB Rouge again, and the widespread praise of this product, I caved.

The first time I tried it, I was worried that I misspent my money – I burned myself by accidentally putting this over an open pimple wound, and then I convinced myself that it didn’t really do much for my skin. The second time, however, this product worked its magic. I applied it with no issue, and while my skin was red right after application, the next morning I woke up with baby skin. Now, it’s become a highlight of my week to use this after a long day at work (it’s recommended that you use this once a week only, since it has such a high concentration of acid). Despite the high acid concentration, this product doesn’t burn at all if you’re careful not to use it on open wounds (or, be smart, unlike me, and just don’t use it until you have no wounds on your face). For me, there was only a slight tingle as I applied it, which went away pretty quickly.  I already know that I will be repurchasing this product – it is extremely effective, and despite its high price tag, its cost per use will be pretty low, so it’s well worth the splurge.

The Babyfacial also comes with a baby size of the Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil (1 fl oz, $70), which is recommended for immediate application after you wash off the Babyfacial. The oil was very nourishing, and definitely contributed to the baby skin on my face the next morning, though I’m not yet sure I’d make the investment in this luxury facial oil – I’m definitely going to explore some more affordable options first..

Because of my almost immediate attachment to this product, I’m becoming interested in other Drunk Elephant products, though I have to honestly say that I’m not sure if I’ll ever purchase anything else. Their products are definitely in the luxury product price range, and in my efforts to be more conscious of how I’m spending money on beauty products, I justified this purchase because the product was unlike anything else on the market. (I know The Ordinary has something similar, but at 30% acid, I’m pretty wary, and my brother has already told me that it burned his face.) Never say never though! I may come back in a few months with newly loved Drunk Elephant products 🙂

Have you tried any Drunk Elephant products before? What did you think?

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