Apr 26, 2015  •  In Asian, Beauty, Korean, Reviews, Shopping

My New Favorite Korean Beauty Products, Part 2

Read part 1 here

Sheet masks have become pretty ubiquitous by now, wouldn’t you say? I myself have been exploring new brands and types, reading up on the latest trends/gimmicks (animal or kabuki sheet masks, anyone?), and investigating the best-reviewed masks per my usual researcher self.

And my favorite types of masks, so far, have been the hydrogel masks. (Read Forget Sheet Masks, Hydrogel Masks Are the Next Best Asian Import for more details on these slimy goodies.) Hydrogel masks may already be old news in Korea, but they are still pretty new to us folks stateside.


I unfortunately have not tried a lot of hydrogel masks as they are more expensive than your traditional sheet masks. However, among the ones I have tried, the two lines pictured above are my favorites: Sally’s Box Delight Hydrogel Masks (in Panthenol, Ceramide, and Collagen — $12 for a pack of 3), and Whamisa Fermented Hydrogel Masks (in Organic Flowers & Aloe Vera, Organic Seeds & Rice, and Organic Fruits & Tomato — $9 each). Each time I use these masks, my skin instantly becomes more radiant and plump with an unmistakable glow.

Next up are three makeup items:


Continue reading »

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Apr 25, 2015  •  In Asian, Beauty, Korean, Reviews, Shopping

My New Favorite Korean Beauty Products, Part 1

Harro! As you can probably tell by the dismal state of my blog this month, I’ve been pretty busy lately. (And when I manage to get a break, I have been zoning out in front of Netflix.) And since I get so much positive feedback about product reviews — especially ones regarding Korean beauty stuffs — I’ve decided to pop back in with some of the items I’ve been loving these days!

First up is skincare products.


Continue reading »

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Apr 21, 2015  •  In Books, Entertainment, Movies, Personal, Reviews

My Surprising Reaction to Fifty Shades of Grey

Last week, I decided to watch Fifty Shades of Grey to see what all the hype was about.

And…it wasn’t so bad.

Was it Oscar-worthy? Definitely not.

But it wasn’t the worst movie I had seen all year either. Or even this month. (But then, again, I’m known to purposely watch crappy movies from time to time just to get in a good laugh. 😛 )


What I found interesting about Fifty Shades of Grey was not its infamous sex scenes — did you hear about the woman who was arrested for masturbating to the movie in the theater? — nor its foray into the world of BDSM. Rather, I found it fascinating why so many women went gaga over the book and the subsequent movie adaption.

The answer was so very clear.


Into a completely unrealistic world where sexy billionaire falls for a plain jane and whisks her away to a life of luxuries and pleasure (and pleasurable pain). 

“It seriously feels like 2 teenage girls got together and decided to create their ‘dream man’ and came up with Christian Grey.” (Read the rest of that Amazon review for a good laugh!)

Moreover, a world where someone else makes the choices for us. And in a day and age where women are faced with more choices than ever, and are often criticized or plagued with self-doubt about the choices we make, it can feel good to have those decisions taken away from us.

In other words, I understand.

I get it.

I still refuse to read the book, though. I remember wanting to gauge my eyes out while struggling to get through the first Twilight book (I wanted to read it and finish it so that I can at least say that I gave it a try) because the writing was THAT BAD. In fact, did you know Fifty Shades started as Twilight fanfiction? And everyone I’ve spoken to who have read both series — even the fans! — tell me that I would hate the Fifty Shades books if I hated Twilight.

What did you think of the movie?

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Mar 27, 2015  •  In Art/Design, Fonts, Funny

What Do You Get When You Combine the Two Most Hated Typefaces?

Comic Sans and Papyrus are probably the most hated typefaces among designers — heck, probably anyone with a discerning eye.

So when Ben Harmon cross-bred the two…


Oh, the humanity! Would another font hybrid induce such horror?

…But it’s kinda funny at the same time too, isn’t it? 😉



For those who are wondering, no this is not a joke. You can obtain it for yourself for a mere $5 right here.

I know you want to download it.

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Mar 16, 2015  •  In Blogging, Reviews, Web

Squidix Web Hosting Review… And a Giveaway! [Win One of SIX Hosting Plans!]

In all my years of blogging, I have probably hosted my site, addition to clients’ sites, on over 10 different web hosts. And any idiot can tell you that not all web hosts are built the same.

You may remember my troubles with HostGator a couple of years ago. Due to HostGator’s slow speeds, horrible customer service, and less-than-acceptable uptimes, I decided to jump ship to Hawk Host. However, due to an unfortunate series of events, I was forced to change hosts again to MDDHosting, just 10 days after switching to Hawk Host.

And I was happy with MDDHosting. Good speeds, customer service, and minimal downtimes. I remained a loyal customer of MDDHosting’s Premium Hosting (which is ideal for those who have outgrown shared hosting environments but do not want or require a VPS yet).

Until Squidix came along.

I am not lying when I tell you that Squidix is the best web host I have ever worked with. I know that I need to disclose when a blog post is a sponsored one…but I can promise you that I would be saying this even if they had no idea I was writing this review.

Customer Service

The one thing that really sets Squidix apart from the rest is their impeccable customer service. I have never had to wait over an hour for an email response, even when most of my questions are not urgent. And each time, every question or issue was resolved immediately.

Even transferring all my files over the Squidix was a breeze…I just handed over my login credentials from my previous host, and they took care of everything for me in just a couple of hours! (BTW, this is included for free with all their hosting plans!)

Plans & Pricing

Not only that, you get more bang for your buck with Squidix. For comparison purposes, I’ve decided to put Squidix up against the two hosts I used to recommend the most before: MDDHosting and Stable Host. These two were consistently among the most recommended while doing my research for a new host 2 years ago, and they remain superior to many others.

So how does Squidix measure up? Here’s Squidix’s lowest shared hosting plan, compared to MDDHosting and Stable Host’s most comparable plans (which happens to be their mid-level shared hosting plans):

10GB Shared Hosting Plan Int. Shared Hosting Plan Stable Shared Hosting Plan
10GB SSD storage 10 GB SSD storage 7 GB SSD storage
Unlimited Bandwidth 250 GB Bandwidth Unlimited Bandwidth
$4.95/month for 1st year,
then $9.95 (paid annually)
or $9.78 (paid annually)

Squidix has a slight edge, no?

But it’s when you get into the next level of hosting that you start to clearly see a difference (the lowest semi-dedicated Squidix plan is put up against MDDHosting and Stable Host’s most comparable plans):

25GB Semi Dedicated Plan Int. Premium Hosting Plan Stable Enterprise Hosting Plan
25GB SSD storage 10 GB SSD storage 20 GB SSD storage
500 GB Bandwidth 600 GB Bandwidth Unlimited Bandwidth
or $22.87 (paid annually)
or $42.50 (paid annually)

Here, Squidix beats my two former favorite hosts, especially in terms of price. The difference may not seem that large, but it really does add up over time!


Most webmasters are aware that speed is a crucial factor in choosing a web host. After all, a website’s loading time not only influences your visitors, it also impacts your SEO.

I have mentioned before that I have been with over 10 different web hosts over the years, and my previous host, MDDHosting, provided some of the speediest load times in my experience.

How does Squidix compared to MDDHosting? Well, I managed to test this blog’s page speed right before I switched to Squidix:


And, now, with Squidix?


Sure, the “after” test had a smaller page size, but one can clearly deduce from comparing the two test results that Squidix’s speeds are similar to, if not better, than that of MDDHosting.

(For those who may be wondering, yes, I have run the speed test using different servers in different locations. And yes, I have received similar results with all of them.)


It has been over a month since I’ve hosted this blog with Squidix, and I have been nothing short of happy with my new web host. Squidix ranks #1 among all of my top requirements of a good web hosting company: customer service, specs & pricing, and speed. And all the hiccups my site has experienced since the migration have been of my doing (i.e., faulty scripts). 

Would I be happy with Squidix even if I were not writing a review? Definitely.

Would I recommend Squidix to others? In a heartbeat.


Are you interested in giving Squidix a try? Well, I have good news for you, Squidix has generously donated a year’s worth of their 25GB Semi Dedicated Hosting Plan for one Geek in Heels reader! Not only that, FIVE lucky winners will win a year’s worth of the 10GB Shared Hosting Plan!

To enter this giveaway, all you have to do is comment below, with your website URL and a short explanation for why you want to switch to Squidix.

This giveaway begins on Monday, March 16th, 2015 12:00am EDT and will end on Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 at 12:00am EDT. The winners will be notified by email, so please provide a valid email address in the comment form. (Emails will not be displayed or shared.)

Good luck, and thanks for entering!

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Mar 15, 2015  •  In Art/Design, Fonts, Geek, Web

CSS Sans: A Typeface Made Purely of CSS

Yusuke Sugomori, who describes himself as a “creative technologist,” has created a project called CSS Sans — a font collection that is created purely from CSS.


A cool feature of the webpage is that as you mouse over a particular CSS class, the portion of the font for which it is responsible gets highlighted:


Are there any real-life, practical uses for CSS Sans? Probably not. And you can’t ignore the fact that all browsers render CSS slightly differently, so it may look crappy on older and/or less popular browers. (I’m using Chrome on a Mac.)

But you gonna admit that it’s a cool concept, and marvel at the strides CSS has made since I first started fiddling around with it in the early 2000’s.  🙂 

Via Reddit.

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Mar 12, 2015  •  In Art/Design, Funny, NYC

Judgemental Subway Map of Manhattan

Thrillist has recently released what they dub an “actually useful subway map, which tells you what to expect at virtually all of Manhattan’s stops.” I really do believe this version of the subway map may be more useful for tourists, as well as locals who want to venture out of their comfort zones.


Now I am tempted to check out that 3rd Ave CVS to see how great it is!

Click below for the full map.


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Mar 5, 2015  •  In Cute, Parenting, Touching

We All Have Superpowers [Comic]

“With great power comes great responsibility…”


Via Lunarbaboon.

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Mar 3, 2015  •  In Art/Design, Geek, Movies, Star Wars

The Inspiration Behind Lando Calrissian’s Helmet Design

Costume designer Nilo Rodis-Jamero recalls: “Every Friday afternoon, we would play baseball and once I jokingly put a glove on engineer Wade Childress’s head…”


Via Reddit.

(For more Star Wars designs and their origins, check out one of my most popular posts ever, Top 5 Star Wars Designs and What Inspired Them. It used to have a lot more comments — many of them very informative and adding to my research — but they got lost when I switched blog platforms in 2012.  😥 )

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Feb 27, 2015  •  In Beauty, Giveaways, Korean, Reviews

Giveaway: Dr. Oracle The Snow Queen Enzyme Powder Wash (Plus MORE Samples!)

I thought I had seen them all when it came to the form that Korean skincare took in its packaging and delivery systems. Ampoules, serums, sherberts, and gels, oh my! Funny-looking patches (have you see this Instagram photo I posted the other night?) and even sheet masks made of sea kelp!

But how about a skin cleanser…wait for it…in the form of a powder?!??


Doctor Oracle’s The Snow Queen Enzyme Powder Wash is yet another innovative skincare product from Korea. This unique cleanser, formulated with pineapple and papaya-based enzymes and other beneficial botanicals (like antioxidant green-tea-leaf extract), is suitable for all skin types and is a gentle and effective way to cleanse your face.

So just how does one use a powder cleanser? Simple — just add water! Once the powder is “activated” by water, it immediately transforms into foam.


As you can see in the pictures above (courtesy of Glow Recipe’s informative blog post), you can have complete control over the texture of the cleanser by adding less or more water. Use a 1:1 powder-to-water ratio for a traditionally creamy, foamy cleanse. Or, add just a few drops to create a paste mixture that will take advantage of the powder granules for an exfoliating treat. And of course, anything in-between is game!

My personal take on The Snow Queen Enzyme Powder Wash is that it cleans my face just as well as my other favorite Korean foam/gel cleansers. But the added benefit is exactly what I described in the paragraph above: I can change the texture as I see fit (i.e., if my skin feels dull or flaky that day, I will make a granule-y paste). It also doesn’t hurt that I like to pretend I’m a chemist (or, if I’m feeling immature, a mad scientist) as I create the mixture. :mrgreen:


Glow Recipe describes another important benefit of The Snow Queen Enzyme Powder Wash here:

Why powder cleanser? Unlike many liquid cleansers, powder cleansers often require less preservatives and binding ingredients to stay fresh. This powder is also free of sodium lauryl & laureth sulfates, potentially skin irritating ingredients, often found in foaming cleansers. 

This powder wash removes makeup and impurities, without stripping even the most sensitive skins of essential moisture. Formulated with mineral-rich carbonated water, and papaya and pineapple enyzmes for skin turnaround, this travel-friendly cleanser provides a deep-cleanse while leaving skin soft and Ph-balanced. 

This product is free of parabens, mineral oils, sodium lauryl & laureth sulfates, as well as synthetic dyes. And, as is the case with all Glow Recipe curations, The Snow Queen Enzyme Powder Wash has been carefully tested and vetted according to their strict standards.

As if you need any further convincing, this cleanser is completely travel friendly! Just check out Self.com’s feature “Don’t Leave Home Without This Brilliant Face Wash.” I only wish I had known about it when I took my trips to Seoul and LA last year!

And now, for the part you’ve all been waiting for…

Glow Recipe has generously donated a bottle of The Snow Queen Enzyme Powder Wash for one lucky Geek in Heels reader!

And, because so many of you entered my Mega Korean Skincare Samples Giveaway (and who doesn’t like more free stuff?), I will be including SIX additional items with The Snow Queen Enzyme Powder Wash!


  • The Face Shop Real Nature Pomegranate sheet mask
  • The Face Shop Real Nature Blueberry sheet mask
  • Innisfree It’s Real Rice Mask
  • Color Combos Moisturizing Dual Booster Mask
  • Skinfood Black Sugar Mask Wash Off (8g / 0.28oz sample)
  • Banila Co. Clean It Zero cleansing balm (7g / 0.25oz sample)

This is a great sample haul, if I do say so myself. The Face Shop offers some of the best affordable sheet masks IMO, and the Innisfree Rice Mask is my personal favorite brightening mask. The Dual Booster Mask is a special two-step sheet mask which includes an essence as the first step. The Skinfood Black Sugar Mask is supposedly a dupe for the popular (and much more expensive) Fresh Sugar Face Polish, and Banila Co. Clean It Zero is Korea’s #1 cleansing balm.

All this in addition to the super gentle, remarkably effective, and ultra versatile Dr. Oracle The Snow Queen Enzyme Powder Wash!

To enter this giveaway, simply use the Rafflecopter widget below. Not sure how to use Rafflecopter? Watch this 52 second video for a tutorial on how to enter a giveaway using Rafflecopter. There are 7 methods of entry, with the first method (commenting on this blog post) being mandatory while the third method (Tweeting about the giveaway) can be used once per day:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will end on Saturday, March 7th, 2015, at 12:01am EST, at which point a winner will be randomly chosen and announced here. If the winner has won the drawing via a questionable or illegitimate entry (i.e., not commenting on this post, using different accounts to enter multiple times, using a Twitter account that is only used to enter contests on a frequent basis, using the same Tweet URL to enter multiple times) I have the right to choose another winner.

Sorry, this giveaway is open only to residents of the U.S. and Canada who are over 13 years old.

Please use a valid email address and/or Twitter handle so that I can contact you if you win! If the winner fails to respond within 48 hours of my contacting them, another winner will be selected.

Good luck, and thank you for entering!

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