Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Why is it so hard to lose weight?

Before I start talking, let me tell you what medical courses I have taken related to this topic.
I have taken my MNE block, Metabolism, Nutrition, and Endocrinology.
Here we learn all about how the human body takes in food and makes it into energy, store energy, how hormones play a role in that, and the importance of nutrition in promoting positive development and growth as well as maintaining the body.

Certain classes from this block include: Diabetes, Obesity, and Bariatric Surgery.
(While I am not specifically talking about diabetes and bariatric surgery today, there are a lot of things related to the human body, especially hormones and other things my professors talked about in those classes that are important for understanding about weight.

Another important thing is that. There is a lot data, charts, graphs, research papers in my courses that I can't put onto this post because it would make it way too long and crazy. I just ask that you believe what I write here because all I'm telling you is what I learned and I am looking at all of my lecture sides, notes, and data as I write this post, so I won't make any mistakes (even though I have this all memorized)

Okay, so let's get down to it. This will be long. Feel free to take breaks in between or read more at a later time. I'm sorry if this is dry or boring. =P

So, when I was younger. I thought that it was mainly the person's fault that they could not lose weight. As in, they were lazy, not motivated enough, The reason being, I happen to have many friends who were on the heavier side and they changed and lost weight over the years and I saw their progress and attributed it all to hard work and determination. Of course, that is a very important factor in the goal of weight loss, but I was ignorant. Because, it's actually very hard to lose weight.

So, why is it so hard to lose weight? Why is it so easy to gain weight? The core of the matter is that we really don't know. There are factors that can contribute to weight loss and weight gain, but no one has found the ultimate answer for why it is easy or difficult for some people to lose or gain weight.

Here are some things to think about:
There's that homeostasis theory right? The set-point theory, that your body will maintain a certain weight and try to keep it that way, try to keep it in a stable range. Why? Because to drastically gain or lose weight would put so much pressure on your body's system, it won't be able to adjust in time and you would probably die.
But if we have set-point, why are people, on average, getting larger/heavier, every year? Shouldn't our bodies maintain that set-point and keep you in a decent range? But, apparently not, people are getting bigger and seem to not have a set-point. (However, in recent literature, it says we are gradually tapering off at a set-point that is much higher than it was a generation ago)
Another thing to ponder is, okay, fine. I want to lose weight. Should be like physics right? The more I eat, the more energy I consume and store, so what I should do, is just eat less. A decreased/lower input than normal will decrease my weight. Not that easy actually. For some people it works, but research shows that you end up not losing as much as you wanted and also, if you don't maintain that decreased input of food/calories, and go back to what you were eating normally, you'll gain all that weight back again. So, in reality, it's not as simple as eating less.

To the facts:
So for the most part, people do have a set-point for their weight (why that set-point is changing and increasing so easily is the current mystery) and it is really difficult to get out of that set-point to make a permanent change in weight (hence, it's not as simple as eating less).

A lot of what controls weight is unfortunately out of your control.
Energy Expenditure is what our body does with the food we eat and it consists of:
1) Resting metabolic rate/RMR (normal body maintenance to survive) = 60-70%
2) Thermogenic proccesses (energy used to digest food and is used as heat) = ~10%
3) Growth (further development of the body, especially for children and adolescents) = ~2%
4) Physical activity = 20-30%

So, this list means, that the majority of your body's control of what you eat is in RMR and how you get your RMR is from your genes, your genetics. And so you can't change your genetics (at least for now you can't), and so if your metabolism tends to be very efficient and break down food really well, it's going to produce more energy than a person who has a poorer metabolism (who can't digest and absorb nutrients very well) and have more energy to store. OR, if your metabolism tends to use up energy very quickly, it is easier to take energy out of storage/fat and use it, than if your metabolism is slower and takes more time to burn calories.

There are also many people with genetic predispositions as well as genetic mutations that may make it easier to gain weight or keep the weight (such as Leptin hormone or Leptin receptor mutations) However, for the mutation part, that is relatively very rare.

There are some people with hormone problems or "glandular problems" and over-produce or under-produce hormones that cause them to gain weight or keep weight easily (such as hypothyroidism and cushing's disease or syndrome). However, that too is relatively very rare.

And so, the problem that most people seem to have is that they tend to over-eat on high-calorie processed food in larger portions, somehow break their set-point, and with all that extra energy, store it in fat.

We also have the "starving/conserving hypothesis" (that's not the official name, I forgot it) that the human body was made to store food because a super long time ago, ancient humans didn't have much to eat, so it was best to be able to store as much food as possible to survive. And I believe that, that hypothesis still stands strong today and is probably a strong contribution to why people tend to keep the weight they gained.

Big Picture
So overall, a lot of things are pre-determined in a way from genetics. Your resting metabolic weight really determines how well and how much process, absorb, and store energy. We all have a set-point that is very hard to change, and our bodies naturally want to store energy. And since about 20-30% of physical exercise influences Energy Expenditure, that means you really have to work hard in your physical exercise, to overcome that 60-70%. It's not impossible okay, if you want to change, you can do it. It's going to take a lot of patience, will-power, hard-work and time, but if you are willing to put in the effort, you can make changes in your life.

Other advice
Exercising is good for your but of course, it's not the only way to lose weight. Usually the best way to lose weight in a healthy manner (and also to lose weight to be healthier) is a combination of exercise and appropriate nutrition and (depending on your age and circumstances) eating less.
The best way is to work with your doctor and/or nutritionist and/or dietitian to make a plan that works best for you and stick to that plan! This is not some temporary diet for a bikini body okay, this is a life style change for your health and well-being.

I hope that this post was informative and helpful to you! Feel free to write any comments and questions in the comment box below! Thank you for reading and I will see you later! =)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Review on Biore Sarasara Uv Aqua Rich Waterly Essence Sunscreen 50g Spf 50+ Pa+++ for Face and Body

Hi Everyone!

Long time no see/talk. =P Sorry, I had exams and needed to focus, but I finished them today and so I have a bit of time before my next exam in 3 weeks! yay....haha,...no, not fun actually =P

Today I'm reviewing Biore Sarasara Uv Aqua Rich Waterly Essence Sunscreen 50g Spf 50+ Pa+++ for Face and Body
For anyone who can read Japanese. =P
This is 50 grams of product for about $10. It is a water-based sunscreen.

What do I think of this product?
So I finished my Anessa sunscreen and started using my Chanel sunscreen. I like having 2 sunscreens at all times, just in case I need to bring one out to go, on a short trip, etc.
I like really light-weight, easy to apply sunscreens and I saw this on Amazon (for free shipping!) with great reviews.
I have used this product for over a month and hmm...overall I really like it and I use it everyday, but, there are some limitations. It does have a light scent, I personally don't think it's floral (but, it says it is), and I can't describe it, but it is very very faint. The product also doesn't irritate my skin, or even the skin around my eyes.
So, because it is water-based, this is a very smooth, light-weight product with a water-like texture that makes it very easy to apply and spread onto the skin. You also don't need to use a lot because it can spread out so thinly. It also feels light-weight, non-sticky, and looks much less oily for a longer period of time than waterproof sunscreen. And yes, it is less sticky and oily feeling and looking than the Anessa or Chanel sunscreens. (But overall, they are still very good suncreens).
But the problem is, that because it is water-based, if you get wet or sweat a lot, it's going to come off quickly and easily. So I wouldn't use this if it's raining heavily and I know I'm going to get wet. Also, would not use this at the pool or at the beach if I'm swimming or in hot weather when I'm sweating a lot or in humid weather because the water in the air will just make this melt off my face.
Also, because it is water-based, if you wear an oil-based, or highly-emollient moisturizer, serum, facial cream before putting this on, it won't stay on as well, and sometimes might start solidifying/polymerizing and just sheds off. For instance, if you use the Aveeno Baby moisturizer, and then put this on, as you are spreading the sunscreen on your face, it just starts becoming solid, and becomes these little soft balls, and then you need to wash your face to get rid of the little white stuff on your face.
So if you like using oils or heavy creams, this product probably won't work well with them. I can use my hyaluronic acid serums before applying this sunscreen and my aloe vera gel underneath this as well. This makes a lot of sense because these products are polar, aloe vera is mostly made up of water (which is polar) and hyaluronic acid is highly negatively charged (it has a charge, so it's polar, so it can make weak polar, or dipole, or hydrogen bonds with the water components in the sunscreen. However, heavy creams or oil-based creams are non-polar, and like dissolves like okay, so non-polar doesn't mix well with polar. Sorry, went on a chemistry lesson here. =P
So pro's, very light-weight, a little goes a long way, not greasy or oily in touch and appearance. Con's can't use it if you're going to get wet or will sweat a lot and can't use it with heavy creams or oil serums.

Do I recommend this product?
This kind of depends on your preferences and what you need. If you tend to have more oily skin, you might like this because it is so lightweight and non-greasy and I highly recommend this product overall. Just be aware of the drawbacks and maybe having to compromise with a more water-based moisturizer or something.
Note: If you are wondering why this will stay on people with oily skin, my hypothesis is that you not only produce oil from your skin but will produce other substances that are polar. Also, this product isn't 100% water based, it still has some oil components in it, so it will work with other products of varying levels of non-polar structures/bonds. If you put this in a cup of water, you can't see that it won't dissolve completely. You just need to find out which combination works the best. So if you use light moiturizers, well, they are going work better with this sunscreen than heavy moisturizers that have a great ratio of non-polar to polar molecules.
Also, let's learn so more science and explain why it would slip off more easily when your face gets wet. (This is just my hypothesis okay, not proven) Let's say you use a moisturizer that works with this sunscreen and it's going to have a good enough intermolecular strength to bind to the moisturizer and not solidify. But, it's not going to be that strong of binding strength just because all moisturizers have a good amount of nonpolar molecules. And when water comes into contact with your skin, it's going to very easily pull away the polar bonds of the sunscreen that are bound to the moisturizer because water is much more polar than the moisturizer and will have a stronger attractive force. Hence, it slides off your face.
If that just made you really confused, then don't worry about it, and just refer to what I said previously. =P Sorry for the confusion.

So I hope that you found this review helpful and not too overly informative. Feel free to comment or ask questions in the comment box below! Thanks for reading and I will see you later!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Outfit of the Day! =)

Hi Everyone!

This is what I wore today =).

The two pictures look almost identical, but I realized my hair was blocking the whole body image, so I took another. XP
I'm sorry if I'm looking a bit awkward =P. One of my neighbors walked by and I just stiffened up and got kind of shy, haha. I'm more used to taking pictures in a private area, like my own front or backyard. Not in public places.....hopefully my landlord doesn't mind....=P

I actually then thought about it, and decided to tuck the top in and it looked like this (but I didn't wear it like this today):
You can tell that this makes me look much skinnier (not that I need to, I feel like a little unhealthily skinny like this)
Nevertheless, I do think that it does look a little more presentable tucked in, or fitted...well..this is fitted, but how do I say, more structured?

What do you think? Which look do you prefer? =)
Personally I like what I wore today (not tucked in), just because I'm a more laidback person (lazy) and I don't like that constricted feeling of a tucked-in shirt. It's more formal and presentable and much more common on the East Coast than California in the US, but I guess I'm not that used to it =P. Though I'm trying. As a future health professional, I do have to tuck in shirts at work and even now at school, haha.

Top: Uniqlo heat-tec turtleneck
Necklace: Swarovski (gift)
Skirt: H&M
Tights: Uniqlo
Wedges: BCBG

Here are a few close ups of the outfit:

Very pretty necklace that was a gift from a family member. It comes with two kinds of cords/chains. One is the black cord and the other is a silver chain. I think the black cord makes this outfit more sophisticated and subtlety beautiful. ^_^
Overall, I think this is a good outfit for those of you who don't like to wear or match colorful outfits, or colorful things are just not your thing. I understand that very well. I wore black for most of my life because I didn't know how to wear color, patterns, and textures, and I did not feel comfortable with them initially.
I personally would have worn dark-red tights. I believe that it would give this outfit a warmer color (not as cold). But I don't have dark-red tights or anything like that, so =P. I wanted to have some sort of color so I chose a navy blue. It actually looks black most of the time, until there's enough light to actually see that it's navy.

So I hope that you liked this outfit and it gave you some ideas! Let me know what you think or if you have any questions in the comment box below! Thank you for reading! I will see you later!

You should checkout Uniqlo's heat-tec clothing. I really recommend them! They are relatively affordable, the material is soft, stretchy, easy to wash, light, thin, breathable and keeps you warm. Because it's thin, it's easy to layer on clothes as well! (I am not sponsored by Uniqlo fyi, I just really like their stuff). Today I only wore this top (no cami underneath) and a fall jacket, and I was fine for the whole day!
Also, I'll be MIA for a bit. I have 2 exams next week a few days apart from each other. I'm used to taking an exam every two weeks. But these are 2 exams after 3 weeks of class, so it'll be a bit rough. X(
Also, my hair has grown! I don't know if it's the environment or weather here. Or maybe I'm studying so much that all the blood and nutrients is going to my head, haha, but it has grown so fast! I cut my hair in march, and it's been 7 months since then, and I've gotten a trim in between and 7 months is still a long time, but...I don't know, it feels like it's grown so fast! =P
Anyway. Gotta go sleep! Bye!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Review on the Lorac Skinny Palette ^_^

Hi Everyone!

It's a 3 day weekend for some of us, yay!

Today I'm reviewing the Lorac Skinny Palette!
yes, that's my cell phone, and no I do not like hello kitty, the case was a gift
This product costs $15! It was sold on Nordstrom first and was sold out very quickly. I got this palette on Amazon with Amazon Prime, so free 2 day shipping!

What do I think of this product?
I first saw this palette on Fromheadtotoe or Jen's Youtube channel, she raved about this product and I wanted to get it. Unfortunately, it was sold out and had a huge wait list, so I kind of gave up, and was like meh, it's okay.
When the Naked Basics 2 palette came out, I was seriously considering to get it. I don't have a lot of matte eye shadows, and as a now older person who goes to graduate school I meet patients, doctors, professors, etc. and it's not that appropriate to wear glittery and  shiny things on my eye. I also prefer a softer shimmer and more matte colors as I age, because they look more natural. =)
But, then I thought about the Lorac Skinny and checked to see if it was available and yes it was, on Amazon! I chose the Lorac over the Naked mainly because of the price and because in my research, it does not seem like the Naked Basics 2 palette would work well with my skin tone. (Though I have yet to go to a Sephora store to check it out, so I may take that back once I do, we'll see haha)

So, overall, great product and I love it!
The palette is very slim, it's 1 cm in thickness, 14cm in length and 6.2cm in width. It is very light, slim, and portable. I also really like the mirror. I usually don't like mirrors on smaller palettes just because I find them unusable or difficult to use, but this one is big enough for my to use as I apply makeup, so that's great! It has a magnetic closure which has a good amount of strength. It might not survive a fall but in a purse or a bag, it won't accidentally open and spill product.

It has 7 colors, all of them warm toned. From left to right:
-matte very pale bone-pink color
-shimmery gold-copper color
-matte orange-tan color, kind of like a classic Spanish terra cotta tile color
-matte medium brown color
-shimmery orange-copper color
- soft shimmery green-brown olive color
-soft shimmery dark reddish brown color

I think all of the colors are beautiful, with great pigmentation. I have no problem applying them or building up layers of color. Though the matte medium brown shade is a little chalky, but again, I don't have problems with it (that was something I notice when I was doing swatches).

Personally I think that because these colors are on the darker and warmer side, they look best in the fall and winter. They can really give your eyes some depth and warmth without looking too dark and dramatic. I like using this for everyday light smokey eyes, but if I want to be more natural, I can just stick with light layers of the matte shades. The shimmer is not too strong, but you can definitely build it up and it will become very strong.
The colors I use the most are all of them except for the lightest and darkest colors at opposite ends of the palette. Being Asian with a darker undertone, the matte highlight color is too light for me. And because I use this for everyday looks, the darkest shade is too dark for day use, but would fair better for night event such as parties, bars, clubs, nice dinners, etc.

Here are some swatches:
(I know that my palette pictures look different than my swatches, the colors look more cool-tone in the palette photos, it's just an issue of lighting. Sorry. =( If you want a more accurate idea of the colors, I say go with the swatches.)
please use this photo as a reference for direction, I will always be referring the colors from the lightest to the darkest, so, from left to right, thanks

top to bottom, in

top to bottom, in direct light
left to right, in indirect light
left to right, in direct light
Do I recommend this product?
If you don't have anything similar, I recommend this palette. I think this is a great investment if you are looking for a light and portable palette, with a mix of shimmery and matte for everyday wear. It is also very affordable! (that's the best part haha).
This is not a must have item, but I highly recommend this for those of you who are new to makeup or don't have something like this and want to save money.

So I hope this was helpful to you! I'm not sure if I'm getting the Naked Basics 2 palette, still hovering on the price, and it's not like I really need it. =P So unless my visit to Sephora really blows me out of the water, then for now, no, I won't get it.
Thanks so much for reading! Feel free to ask any questions or say anything in the comment box below. See you later =)

Friday, October 10, 2014

High School, College/University, Graduate/Professional School, what about it?

Hi everyone!

In my transitions to higher levels of education I felt that I was unprepared in some ways, and I'd like to let you know how it goes and some advice, in case you ever wanted to know, or think about it.
These are just some personal thoughts on levels of education, my experiences in them, and my advice to....anyone out there. =P
By the way, my education was and is in the United States of America. I understand that there are different kinds and levels of education internationally, so if you're not in the US, this may not be that helpful. But if you plan to study in the US or you are in the US already and plan to stay here and study, then maybe this will be better.
Please also keep in mind that I'm not a professor, or a teacher, or someone in some educational board, etc. I am a student with my own field(s) of study and I will give advice based on my personal experiences.

High School
Haha, memories. =P To some people good, others not as much, to me? Meh, I think I should have not been such a perfectionist and relaxed a little.
Overall, compared to college, it's a joke and compared to grad school, it's an embarrassment. XP Really, it's very sad when I think about how little I learned in high school. But I will say, if you are a science/math person, this is the most history and literature you will ever learn in your life!
NEVERTHELESS, I'm not saying neglect high school. Work hard and get those easy A's and build a good work ethic. This will form your foundation for college and higher levels of education, and it will make it easier for you to go to college, and therefore make your life easier and better in the future (do especially well on your APs!). But at the same time, keep life fun and balanced, this is probably the only time you can get your grade up into an A range even when you failed 1 test. Though, hopefully you won't fail at all. =)

I came from one of the most competitive school districts in California, and to us students, failure in a test was a B and failure in a class was a B+ (passing was A-). And this was.....about 10 years ago...so....standards are higher, and crazier. I don't know what's the next "A level grade", A+++? XP haha, jk
However, I would really like to thank my parents and my quality of education for giving me such a good background to start off in.

Also, for those of you guys who want to get into medical school or law school right after college, start your work in high school. I'm not kidding. If that's what you're aiming for, then start it ASAP.

Hmm, so I got my B.S. in Human Biology and B.A. in Psychology at UCSD. All I really know about college is science stuff, and mostly biology and psychology (of course). I had a lot of friends who were engineers, computer science, biology, and computer science and engineering majors. So, I can talk from a science perspective but not so much from a humanities/literature/art/history perspective, sorry. =/
College is....challenging, sometimes it felt difficult, but overall, challenging. Compared to graduate/professional school? Haha, it's pre-school stuff. =P

This is the time where you will form yourself as a person and may not change very much after that. Most of your ideals, personality, worth ethic, habits, etc. will develop and mature in your college years, so, go make yourself the best person you can be! (I'm not saying that you are a rock after college and that you will stay the same forever, no, people can change after college, but a lot of your core elements will be formed here)

This is also the game-changing time, where you can change your fate. I'm not kidding, this is real. It's not like you've discovered you're a wizard, but here you have the chance to change your life in the future, as in your socioeconomic status. And I WILL SAY THIS, you can make it better, or you can make it worse. As Gandalf said: do what you can with the time that is given to you. =)

By the way, don't forget, college is a time to explore! Explore what you are interested but also try new things! Learn more about the world and other people and they will do so in return. Besides, there's nothing more boring on a medical/grad/law application that all you did was study in your field and nothing else. =P

Graduate/Professional School
Having recently gotten into graduate school, I may make some assumptions that I may change my mind about or add on, etc. But I'll just say what I feel now. =P
Get your ass ready to work! Grad school is HARD, and I mean really really hard. T_T *crying*
Well no, at least I haven't cried yet, but I've seen people who look like they're going to.
Be prepared to study 6-10hrs/day depending on what level you are (PHD, Masters, MD, OD,....law, I don't know what you call law people....sorry) You also may have to do other things besides studying, like work on your thesis, do clinical work (free clinic), research, part-time job for those student loans, don't forget to also go to class, eat, sleep, and stay healthy. Bam, yes, a lot of stuff to do and manage.

I'm a pre-med grad student and so I know mostly about medical school related topics. I am currently taking medical school classes with first year medical students. And wow, we learn A LOT. Each month is a block and a block consists of a topic or topics of study.
My first block was MCP (molecular and cellular physiology), and second block was MNE (metabolism, nutrition, and endocrinology). I am currently taking my 3rd and  4th block together which are MIM (microbiology and immunology) and PGA (principles of gross anatomy).
I am so happy that I decided to take Human Biology as my college major, otherwise I would have seriously struggled with a lot of material as some people have.
If you thought that college was fast paced (especially in the 10 week quarter system), then good luck with this, because it will blow your mind! I remember one lecture I had on immunology covered everything that I learned in the first 5 weeks of my immunology course at UCSD. 5 weeks of learning in college, was condensed in 1 day. Scary, yes. Impossible no.

Learn how to deal with the stress and pressure, because you'll be feeling it. You might feel overwhelmed with all the information you have to stuff in your head and you just want to give up. But I'm here telling you, it's possible to do well. It's definitely possible to get average and above average. To get an A, takes that special effort and luck though. My basic advice is just don't fall behind in your studies and learn how to take medical school exams, because they are nothing like what you took in college. Each test is 3 hours long which was equivalent to a final when I was in college. You have to learn how to pace your self, how to not burn out in the test, and USE YOUR BRAIN. Med school, will make you think until your brain fries! When I think about the exams in college, I felt that half of them were useless, memorizing information without the need to understand it and just barfing it all out on an exam. Med school exams here are all done on computers/laptops and are all multiple choice. (I hope that in this day and age, I don't have to explain why multiple choice is much harder than written exams, if you don't think so, let me know and I'll tell you). I'm sorry if you went to MIT or something and had full written exams, because this is a very different way to think and test your knowledge and understanding of the material.
For instance I have had questions like:
- what is the most true answer?
- what is the most false answer?
- complete the false statement
-etc. very interesting right? they make you THINK! XP

In it's own way, graduate/professional school is fun and amazing. It's amazing what you learn and understand and how much you learn. It's also fun to be able to talk to and be with fellow students with the same goals as you and the same love for what you do, what you want to do in the future, and what you want to be. =D These guys will probably be your friends, co-workers, and maybe future spouse for the rest of your life. That's right, not college, graduate/professional school is where you will have most of your lifelong friends and acquaintances. Not saying you're college friendships will fall in the dust, but when you get busy in your field and specialty in graduate/professional school, honestly you might not have that much time with college buddies, and maybe no longer studying in the same place as they are. (like meeee)

A day of school for me is usually class from 9am-12pm.
About 1-2 times a week we also have anatomy lab from like 1-4pm, but that varies depending on the subject, so it could last for 2 hours instead of 4 hours. Those labs include, virtual labs, cadaver labs, and radiology labs.
We also have small group, which are discussion groups that we are randomly paired to learn and discussion about clinical relations to what we learned or further in depth study on what we learned in class. Those are 1-2 times a month, or more, depending on the length and complexity of subject of study.
We have integrated case studies and regular lectures. So lectures are like textbook stuff while case studies are real examples of clinical cases, or giving us clinical scenarios.
We also have patient and physician panels 1-2 times a month, very fun, we ask questions and talk to patients and physicians.
After all of my classes I stay in the library until 8 or 9pm. It starts nearing 10pm near when it is near the exam. On the weekends I study from 9am till 8 or 9pm. Yeah, I know, it sounds very painful and sad, but in reality I don't find it that bad. Besides, I think if you focus on how miserable you are, then not only do you not get as much work done, but you also don't feel happy. So if you're going to study, just DO IT. XP
Usually after an exam, I'll give myself a break by eating a nice meal with friends! And maybe that weekend I'll go to my favorite French cafe for a brunch, do some window shopping, walk around, etc. Something relaxing, I don't have to go out and drink and party, nor do I have to go on some vacation to New York or something. I'm pretty satisfied with simple things. Or maybe I'm just a boring person. =P

UPDATE 1/04/14:
I have finished my 1st semester and halfway done with one of my most challenging courses, Cardio-Pulmonary/Cardio-Pulm/CP. It's the one course that if med students fail they cannot make up and well, it's the largest credit value course, 5 credits, so pretty important. I did decently well, a decent amount above average, but that doesn't mean I'll get an A yet. I still have a practical to take (cadaver exam) and a 2nd exam in 2 weeks!
Overall, I think, and I say, I think, that I've gotten more used to studying and how to study for exams and preparing my material. That doesn't make me relaxed, rather, it makes me more hard on myself in terms of doing well and getting A's =P.
But I've gotten into a good routine of studying, daily exercise, making myself eat a salad everyday, etc. things like that. So, things are pretty okay. =)
Do I still feel stressed, yes, all the time. I'm always thinking about school, but not in such a scary or painful way anymore, it's just something that I make sure to keep up with, my mind on my work, and it helps keep me going, a motivating factor more than a fear factor (but the fear factor is still there, it will probably always be there haha)
So far, I am glad that I am here, that I am working hard, and not only learning and suffering with everyone, but also enjoying my time here. I love my med school and would love to attend it as a med student! =D *crosses fingers for application*

Other Suggestions:

Don't be a gunner unless you really have to. Be nice =) and make friends! Socializing is just as important as studying and getting the A grade because in the real world you will work with other people. People are human and have a good memory for certain events, usually a bias towards events that they feel they were looked down up, wronged, snitched, felt offended, etc. Don't do that, you never know who you will talk to and meet and if that person will affect your future in some way. Especially in higher levels of educations, those professors are smart and they can see everything and they're very good at figuring out who you really are. ;)

Do I "have a life"? Do you "have a life"? Well, that depends on whatever you think "having a life" is. Think about the costs and benefits of your decisions and about what you want in your life and what you need to do to get there. Dreams are goals without plans. Do what you think will work out best for you and trust me, you will "have a life" and an enjoyable and fulfilling one at that!

Anyway, I know this was long, but hopefully it was informative. =) Thanks for keeping up with me till the end, I hope it interesting in some way, haha.

See you later!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Review on "The Face Shop" My Lips Eat Cherry Aqua Tint ;)

Hi Everyone!

Today I am reviewing "The Face Shop's" My Lips Eat Cherry Aqua Tint
02 "Juicy Red" (Left) & 01 "Juicy Cherry" (Right)
I bought this in a "The Face Shop" store in California for about $9. It contains 9g or 0.17 oz. I believe that you can also buy this online.

What do I think of this product?
So, when I bought this lip tint this summer, there were 3 colors available. Currently, there seems to be 2 colors now in stock, perhaps the 3rd color did not do as well and they took it off the shelves, I don't know. Anyway, I bought the lighter of the 2 colors, which according to the website is 02 "Juicy Red" and the darker color is 01 "Juicy Cherry". However, there is no number on the product itself and I threw away the box a long time ago, and don't remember if the number was on it. The issue is that online the numbers and names seem to be a bit mixed up in different pictures and online stores, just to let you know. =P

Anyway, I was looking for a good lip tint. I don't have a lot of lip products and I usually don't like them. I especially dislike lip glosses, because I don't like any stickiness on my lips and I also have a habit of licking my lips and tend to lick off products. (Though, that's my problem haha).
I tried these at the store and also tried on another more popular product which I will do a small description on at the end of this post why I chose this one over the more popular one. =)

Overall, one of my most favorite lip products! Keep in mind, it is a stain, you can have a solid color on your lips but it will not give that very deep and opaque look that a lipstick gives. It gives a nice stain to my lips, and the color is very buildable. I can go from soft natural flushed color to a vibrant bold tomato red color. I like it because the red is not too deep and dark and I think it is great for younger people. It is very long lasting, especially after I build up layers, I can eat, drink, and even kiss someone with no transfer. When I wipe my mouth after I eat, a little color gets on the napkin, but  if I check my lips in the mirror, they don't look much different and I usually don't need to reapply.

It is an aqua tint, so it is water based. Therefore, if you put vaseline (or any lip balm with oils and waxes) on your lips and then put this on top, the product will not stick or stay on your lips, because it won't adhere to the vaseline. It's like mixing water with oil, they don't mix or dissolve into each other. Basic chemistry, like dissolves like, polar goes with polar molecules and non-polar with non-polar. For those of you who don't know, water is polar. I would recommend to make sure to hydrate your lips over night or before you use this lip tint and then wash it off and apply the color.
Also, this can dry out your lips a little, so again, good to hydrate your lips beforehand.
Finally, make sure your lips are smooth and well exfoliated before use otherwise it looks really ugly, when pieces of skin and cracked skin gets a deeper color than the rest of your lips and it is really obvious and easy to see.
Despite some of these drawbacks, if you have a habit of exfoliating your lips and making sure they're well moisturized, then I don't really see a problem with it. =)

Here are a few pictures of me wearing the lip tint. I don't have a picture of my bare lips now, because I've been using this so often that my lips are almost permanently stained =P, haha, I told you, it's long lasting.
by the way, thanks to not being in CA anymore (and I use sunscreen everyday) my skin has become so pale....and it's cold here...>.<
red lips make your teeth look whiter! lol
I think this color is great for all year around, but I love it during the fall, I think it goes well with warmer eye make up and make me not look like a tired half-alive pre-med grad student =P

So I tried on another version, this one is the cream based version called "Artist Finger Gloss"
The reason why I did not buy this was first, it was more expensive. It was about $21. Also, it felt sticky on my lips to me. It may be hydrating/non-drying, but I hate sticky lips more than I hate dry lips, so. =P
I'm not sure if I'm not used to it or if I'm just picky, but if you wanted to try the cream version, this one is quite popular and comes in many colors.

Do I recommend this product?
If you like aqua tints, like Benefit's famous tints, and you are looking for something long-lasting, with a buildable range of color depth, I recommend this product.
As I have said before, just make sure your lips are smooth and well hydrated before use, and it will work great! I also recommend this lip tint for younger persons wanting to wear a red lip color, especially a brighter and more bold color. I think that a suitable cherry or tomato red color that is not too dark or deep, can give you a really bright and refreshed look, and makes your teeth look whiter XD.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Review on Natural Republic Aloe Vera Gel

Hi Everyone!

Just finished a block exam today, tired. =P Oh yeah, I also broke in a new pair of heeled shoes and my feet are killing me >.<, also I'm eyeing a pile of dishes that need to be washed because I didn't do them during my crazy study weekend.....*sigh* haha

Today I'm reviewing Nature Republic's Aloe Vera Gel
This product cost about $12 on Amazon and contains 300 mL or 10.56 fluid oz of product.
It is said to relax, refresh, and rehydrate skin, especially dry skin.

What do I think of this product?
So, summer in the East Coast, is hot, like Southern CA, but, it's also very very humid. O_O A new thing, it was like being in Asian during the summer (except Asian is a little hotter and more humid where I stay when I go).
So, it was really hot and humid and people outside get all hot, sweaty, and gross. I actually sometimes took a shower when I came back because I felt that miserable. =P
My moisturizers and lotions I used in dry California was not working well with the climate here so I got this product.
So overall I really like this product for my body but not as much for my face. It is fast absorbing, not sticky (in one layer), and feels very cooling and nice. =) It has an aloe/cucumber scent and I like it. The formula is gel and it is clear. It's great for hot, humid summer days, and your skin won't feel as sticky as with heavier or thicker moisturizers. I also really liked this for minor sunburns and my bug bites. (For some reason, I have terrible reactions to insect and mosquito bites here, in Asian the first one is bad and after that they aren't itchy at all, but HERE, my bites get so swollen and painful that they feel like rocks, and would get white because the tissues were so swollen that the blood couldn't get to them, and then I get really bad scarring....T_T) Because the gel is light and cooling, it feels really comforting and calming on irritated skin.
HOWEVER, I am not a doctor or dermatologist (I have not learned about skin stuff yet, but if you want to know about diabetes, nutrition, metabolism and endocrinology I can help with that =P), if you have a bad or severe burn, or if you have bites that cause the tissue to to get damaged with exposed flesh, please go to a doctor! This is not a medicated product and I would not recommend this for open skin and wounds, it would probably hurt a lot if you tried.
Anyway, for my face, I have combination skin so I do have dry areas around my mouth and cheeks so it's not that moisturizing in those areas. And if I start putting on multiple layers, it's better, but then it starts feeling sticky. However, my sensitive skin is not irritated at all. I think for people who have oily or very oily skin, this might work better for them.
But I really like putting this on my body, very cooling and relaxing. =)

Do I recommend this product?
If you have oily or very oily skin, I highly recommend this product. It is light, fast absorbing, and won't feel sticky as long as you don't put on too many layers. I also highly recommend this for your body if you live in an area that is very hot and humid, so your skin won't feel that sticky and gross when you go out.
However, if you have dry skin, this might not be as hydrating for you and you may need to get something with better moisturizing properties.

I hope that this was helpful to you. =) It's getting cold fast here, but I heard that California is experiencing a heat wave now and other tropical areas are still warm, so you can try this! It is very affordable for such a large amount so I think it's a good investment.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to type in the comment box below. Thank you for reading. See you soon!