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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Product Review: Alba Botanica Sea Mineral Cleansing Gel + Others

Having a cleanser that removes all dirt and impurities without stripping the skin off its natural moisture is important. While I like Avalon Organics Vitamin C Refreshing Cleansing Gel a lot, I find that it can be too drying even for my combination-oily skin so I stopped using it during the cooler months and started using it again only last summer. And what did I use during those times? Alba Botanica Sea Mineral Cleansing Gel which is another great find from Healthy Options.

Photo taken from Google


About the Product - Taken from Alba Botanica Website

Natural Even Advanced

Signature ingredient: Aloe supplies soothing, nutrient rich protection to skin while Alba's Marine Complex hydrates, nourishes, detoxifies, firms, and stimulates cell regeneration.

Product description: Don’t be shy. Get fresh!
Lather away the daily grime with this frothy cleanser that freshens and brightens your complexion. Our naturally powerful Marine Complex, rich in sea minerals, stimulates cell regeneration for a more even skin tone while washing away dulling impurities. Get a fresh start every time you clean.

Features and benefits: Foams away impurities for an even complexion.

Who should use this product? For normal to oily skin.
Use in the morning and evening.

Directions for use: Rinse face with warm water. Apply a small amount of cleanser to palm, work into a creamy lather and massage over face and neck. Rinse clean.

Caution: For external use only. Avoid contact with eyes. Keep out of reach of children.

Size: 6 fl oz (177 ml)

Ingredients
Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice(1), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Glycerin, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Camilla Sinensis Leaf Extract(1), Chlorella Pyrenoidosa Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract(1), Enteromorpha Compressa Extract, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract, Spirulina Maxima Extract, Ulva Lactuca Extract(1), Ascorbyl Glucoside, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Coco-Glucoside, Erythritol, Glyceryl Oleate, Homarine HCl, Panthenol, Potassium Hydroxide, Alcohol(1),

------------------------

What I like:
- Effectively cleanses the face and removes makeup without making it dry. Though for waterproof mascara, I suggest using a makeup remover or a cleansing oil first.
- Has a fairly pleasant scent which did not trigger my allergic rhinitis.
- Did not irritate my skin nor did it cause me to break out.
- No dreaded parabens, made from mostly natural ingredients.
- No animal testing.
- Has a pump that gives you control to dispense just the right amount of product. Oh, you can also turn it left and right to lock and open the pump.
- You only need a little to cleanse the entire face and neck.
- It feels refreshing indeed.
- When my skin acted up and got really itchy, I washed my face with this and it felt better, probably due to aloe.
- Locally available at Healthy Options for around Php 300-375. Well, you get 177mL of product anyway which can last for about half a year.

What I don't like:
- Has a shelf life of 6 months so I guess you have to religiously use it once you open it.
- Claims to stimulate cell regeneration for a more even skin tone. Didn't notice any changes but not a major issue for me since I use something else for that.
- Does not lather as easily as other cleansers but that's just something minor. I feel that when a cleanser lathers and foams up well, it works better than cleansers that don't but that's just me. :)

Overall rating: 4.5/5 There really isn't anything super special about this cleanser, to be honest. It does what it's supposed to do. But I like how it cleanses my face without drying it and the fact that it has aloe and mostly natural ingredients and the company does not test on animals make it a winner for me.

Will I buy again? Yes! I'm almost done with my first bottle and I'm using it at the moment since it has been cold lately and Avalon is once again drying up my skin.

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On a different note, I got tagged and received awards from two very lovely ladies - MissGennD and Diane. And Dawn gave me the Top 10 Award. Thank you, dearies. :)


Rules for these awards:
Link back and thank the person who tagged you.
Post se7en things about yourself and answer the list of favorite questions.
Pass these awards to 15 bloggers.
Notify the lucky bloggers who got these awards.

I decided not to do the 7 Facts About Me post simply because I have done it several times and you're probably sick of reading things about me by now. :P

The Favorite Questions:

Name your favorite colors: 
Pink, black, and forest green

Name your favorite song:
I have a lot but my current favorites are Yellow by Coldplay and Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes. They change depending on my mood.

Name your favorite dessert:
Cheesecakes or anything with ripe mangoes (e.g. mango bravo)

What pisses you off:
A lot - don't even get me started. But it's better to just shrug it off and move forward since you're more on the losing end if you let yourself get affected too much.

When you're upset you:
Shop? :P Sleep or read books. Or just go somewhere quiet where I can relax and ease up a bit. But ultimately pray to have a clear mind.

Your favorite pet:
Cats, of course. But I'm planning to get a dog in the future. Perhaps a golden retriever so I can have my own Hachiko (even though it's an Akita. :) I initially wanted to get a chowchow or a husky but I was told both are temperamental so we just might end up biting each other.

Black or White:
Black

Your biggest fear:
Dying in a strange place that is unknown to me without knowing anyone from there or probably dying in a vehicular accident (e.g. sinking ship or plane crash or train/car collision)

Best feature:
I was told my eyes and my chubby cheeks.

Everyday Attitude:
The moment you wake up, take it as another blessing and be thankful. Welcome each day with a positive outlook and do not let negative stuff and even people get the better of you.

What is perfection:
Something that does not exist. It is entirely up to you to see things in a brighter perspective.

Guilty pleasures:
Books and shopping or having a well-deserved drink every once in a while. Watching a funny movie and laugh my heart out til my jaw and tummy hurt. And definitely having a me-time like checking in to a hotel for a day or two and it will be all about me on that/those day/s. I would rather say these are simple pleasures.

I am tagging everyone so feel free to claim these awards. :)

Have a fabulous weekend, everyone! :P

Cheers,
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Dresses and Me

If you know me, you probably know that I am not the girly-girl type who wears really nice and fancy dresses. It's not that I don't like them in general but it's just that I don't sit properly as girls should. I want to be as comfortable as I am whenever I sit down and not worry too much about what I am wearing. I find it funny when I see a girl wearing a dress but is too conscious about it. That is definitely far from being comfortable.


When we had our high school prom, I seriously did not want to go because I didn't want to wear a dress but I eventually went. It was fun seeing my classmates wearing prom dresses as they look really pretty in them. See, I went to an all girls school and we seriously didn't act too lady-like so it was a surprise seeing each other looking prim and proper. Of course, after prom, my dress got stored in the closet.

After a couple of years, a friend celebrated her 18th birthday and since it was a formal event, we were all told to wear evening dresses. I went to the mall to hunt for a really nice piece. Although there were really a lot of gorgeous dresses right in front of me, I decided against buying one because I would only wear it for that occasion. I also remembered the dress I wore when I went to prom and luckily, it still fit me. Now that I am getting older, I realized that it is important for a girl to at least have one dress that she can wear on more formal events or whenever she feels like it, and I am now looking for that perfect piece.
Read more...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blush Love: Current Favorite Combo

Hey everyone. I hope you're all doing well despite the storm and all the events happening all over the world recently. Anyway, I'll just make this post short and sweet. Allow me to share my favorite blush combo at the moment, what I've been wearing for the past few days.

Photo credit to Fotolia.com


I am talking about Benefit Posietint and Benefit Coralista. I love that Posietint gives me a fresh pop of color on the cheeks and when topped with Coralista, the result is just a very lovely coral-pink shade. Since Coralista is a shimmery blush on its own, its shimmers give Posietint a really pretty sheen and glow - a combination that instantly brightens the face.


I can't rave enough about how I love these two together so I'll just leave you with swatches so you can see what I'm talking about here.


Do you like layering blushes?

Happy Thursday, everyone! :)

P.S.
I would like to thank Fotolia for giving me free subscription to their stock photos for a certain period. I had loads of really nice pictures to choose from. For those who are interested, they are willing to give readers of this blog a free two-week subscription so feel free to shoot me an email if you'd like to avail of this generous offer. I recommend that you check out http://fotolianews.com to know more about them. :)

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Product Review: Stila Lip Glaze Stick in Orange

Imagine how easier and more hygienic it would be to apply lip glosses without having to dunk the applicators on the tube and apply them as lipsticks instead. Yeah, easier but could be gooey and messy, right? That's what I thought of when I first saw Stila Lip Glaze Sticks on eBay so even if the shades look nice and reviews are mostly positive, I couldn't bring myself to purchase one. But when I saw this being sold online for a really low price, I purchased it without hesitation. The shade I got is Orange just because I was on a coral kick when I got this (though I think I still am).



Why hello, Orange. I hope you won't be like the Annoying Orange on YT. :)


What I like:
- The shade is a very pretty and vibrant red-orange that can go on sheer or be layered to have a brighter pop of color. It instantly brightens the face.
- Glossy but non-sticky which is a huge ++++ for me.
- It has shimmers but are not too visible once on the lips.
- Lasts fairly long too for more than 3 hours.
- Non-drying.
- Unscented. I was hoping it'd smell just a bit like orange but it's cool.
- You have to sharpen it so I think it is pretty hygienic since the outer layer will be gone once sharpened.
- No allergic reaction.
- Pigmented so it can be worn on its own, which I normally do.
- Inexpensive. I got it for 150 bucks (around $3.50) + shipping.

What I don't like:
- You have to be very careful when putting the cap back on. It smudges if you're not too careful.
- You waste a lot of product when you sharpen it, think 5 uses worth of product.
- It melts when the weather is hot. I tried applying it once when it was pretty humid and the tip broke off and melted.
- I think this will be discontinued or has been discontinued since the last time I saw this on the Stila website, it was on clearance sale, stating that those are what they have of this product left.
- Once the tint and gloss are gone, you're left with glitters on the lips.
- It sometimes feel gritty because of the shimmers though that isn't the case all the time.

Overall rating: 3.5/5

Will I buy again? No. The fact that a lot of product gets wasted just by sharpening it is enough reason for me not to.

Swatch

On my lips

On me

Have you tried Stila Lip Glaze Sticks?

Happy Tuesday, super awesome peeps. Stay safe too. Felt the quake and too many bad things happened in different parts of the world lately. Let's all keep the faith and pray. :)

Cheers,
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Product Review: Maybelline Dream Mousse Concealer

When it comes to a good under eye concealer, I am always on the look out since I still haven't found my holy grail. I have read a lot of good reviews about Maybelline Dream Mousse Concealer but took months before finally purchasing one since I still have 4 concealers to use up. But after I saw someone rave about this concealer, I knew I had to get one and boy, I'm so glad I finally did. :)


The shade I got is Light 4-5 or Cream, which happens to be the same shade as my Dream Matte Powder.

What I like:
- The texture is really airy and fluffy, typical of mousse products. It blends well too.
- A little goes a long way and I mean it. A light dab of the finger is enough to get just the right amount of product for one under eye. Trust me, you wouldn't want to apply more than what you really need or layer it several times because 1. you really don't need to as it is very opaque and pigmented; 2. it covers really well; and 3. it will cake.
- It dries to a matte, powder finish so it saves me time by not having to use setting powder on my under eyes.
- The shade is a perfect match for my under eyes. The dark circles just magically disappear with just one light layer.
- Maybe it's just me but I notice that the lines are less visible when I use this. I think it fills the lines instead of settling on them. Does that make sense? :D
- Staying power is good. Lasts for at least 6 hours on me.
- Inexpensive as I got this for only Php 247 + shipping on eBay.
- 3g will surely last me a long time since I only need very little product for both eyes.
- No allergic reactions and such.
- Does not crease nor settle on fine lines especially if you apply just the right amount. Too much of it will result to creasing and settling though so keep in mind to use very little of it.
- Does not turn ashy on me like most concealers do.

What I don't like:
- Discontinued. Snap! Why do companies discontinue good products and replace them with substandard ones?
- Top layer tends to harden so you have to make sure the cap is shut tightly.

In-between:
- Others may find the packaging a con since it is in a pot but I really don't mind since I sanitize my products anyway.

Overall rating: 4.75/5

Will I buy again? Sure! If I see this again somewhere. I thought of buying a backup but I figured that it just might expire since I'm pretty certain this will last me a really long time. I just hope I can find something as good as this in the future.

Swatch

Applied on one eye.

Have you tried this concealer?

I hope you all had a great weekend! :)

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Recent Cosmetics Purchases + Goodies

Hi again! Another very quick post. Thought I'd just share the stuff I purchased for the past couple of weeks. Though these aren't a lot, I think I'd go on a shopping ban. I may not have bought a lot of makeup but I have purchased mostly skin care, laptop accessories, books, shoes, a few novelty stuff, cosmetic bottles from Beabi, and a really neat necklace too. Didn't take pictures of everything but I'm sharing the makeup items I got and a few others too.


For makeup - Becca Mineral Powder Foundation, Bourjois Blush in 54 Rose Frisson, Benefit Posietint 4mL, Benefit Coralista mini 3g (I miss the Coralista I sold, must be seller's remorse), Maybelline Dream Mousse Concealer (which I love!), ELF Eyebrow Treat & Tame in Ash, ELF Mineral Eyeshadow Primer (since my friend got my UDPP and I couldn't say no), and Vaseline Lip Therapy in Cherry. Everything was purchased online except for Vaseline.


The "vintage" necklace I got from eBay for 120 bucks (a little less than $3)


And lotsa samples from my exchange gift with Sugarpaopao. Oh, thanks to her for also introducing me to...


Happy Lemon!!! Love the Cocoa with Rock Salt and Cheese, thanks for the reco. :) Sucks that I wasn't able to meet you on the iWhite event and Happy Lemon session with the other girls.


Oh, I also finally had the time to drop by the PO and claim the package/sample sent by Maggie from kkcenterhk. Hopefully, I can do a review soon. I don't have an eyelash glue yet. :P

So that's it for now. By the way, is it really the rainy season or summer had a month-long extension? It's freakin' hot!

Happy Thursday, everyone! :P
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cheap Find: Natasha Beauty Glam & Glide Lip Gloss in BetterBare

I recently found another inexpensive product which, I think, is worth sharing and that is something from Natasha Beauty. Yes, the now have their own makeup line plus they also sell cosmetics from Tita Fanny. I saw a catalogue and I had no plans to purchase anything but since some of the products were on sale, the impulsive buyer in me ordered two items, one of which is the Glam & Glide Lip Gloss in BetterBare. I know I have said several times that I am not a lip gloss person because I hate sticky lip products that sit on top of my lips but I went ahead and ordered since it was really inexpensive.



There were two shades on sale for less than Php 85 or $2. The other one looks pale to me so I chose this one instead. I wanted something kinda nude but won't wash me out. After a couple of days, I received this product and surprisingly liked it. It's a very pretty milky peach-brown shade with beige tones and a very slight hint of pink. It applies smoothly and goes on evenly. It is non-sticky and non-drying and I need not worry about having dry and chapped lips if I wear this alone without a lip balm. Yes, I have tried doing that and I wasn't disappointed.


Pigmentation is just average and staying power is not that impressive. But it leaves the lips smooth and soft once it's gone. It smells like chocolate too but it is definitely not something that is overwhelming. Otherwise, I wouldn't have used it more than once. The texture reminds me of NARS lip glosses but just a bit more watery. It settles on the lip lines upon initial application but it doesn't stay that way for very long. I don't always find a lip gloss that I end up liking but I am really surprised as to how I have come to like this one a lot. I might check out the other shades when I run out of this. Oh, it also contains 6mL of product which isn't bad for the price. :)

Swatch

Lip swatch

Have you tried makeup from Natasha?

Happy Sunday, super awesome peeps! :P


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Saturday, July 16, 2011

My Personal Artistry Experience

Hello guys. I have been busy these past few days, thus, taking a break from blogging. Anyway, I'd like to share my personal Artistry Experience with you all. I was not able to attend the launch of their latest product a couple of weeks ago so I pushed through with this one instead. In as much as I hate going to Makati, I braved the Manila heat and moderate-heavy traffic and went there. I finally met the very nice and friendly Dr. Meeko Hilario who introduced their skin care and makeup up products one by one.


He patiently explained the different skin care lines and products and what they are for. These are the products from the Essentials line. I was able to try a few at the back of my hands such as the Essentials Polishing Scrub, Essentials Pore Cleansing Masque, Pure White Essence (from their Pure White line), Time Defiance Skin Refinishing Lotion and 3D Lifting Serum from their Time Defiance line. I also got to try the Intensive Skincare Renewing Peel. I noticed how the skin on the areas I applied these products at felt smoother and looked brighter. :)

I also got the chance to check out their cosmetics. :)

Their liquid foundation has two variants - Balancing for oily-skinned people and Hydrating for those with dry skin. However, there are are only 4 shades so finding a really good match can be quite tricky. Well, easier, I guess. I think mine's Vanilla. The shades are the same for both liquid and powder foundations, by the way. Liquid foundations cost Php 1470 for a 30mL bottle which comes with a pump. Powder foundations cost Php 1615 for the refill which contains 12g of product and Php 940 for the compact.
 
Most of their lippies are neutral-toned for the more conservative women. But I was told they will come up with more vibrant and youthful shades. Lipsticks cost Php 1250 for 3.8g and lip shines (glosses) cost Php 1050 for 4g of product.

They also have eye shadows and blushes. Of course, I swatched some for you to see. Each cheek colour costs Php 695 for 3g and a separate compact can be purchased for Php 990. The compact reminds me of the old Shu Uemura compact (the one I have) wherein you can put 2 blushes or 4 eye shadows and a blush and 2 eye shadows. Each eye colour pan costs Php 805 for 1g of product.


I noticed that the price of their products are quite competitive. The price range of their cosmetics reminds me  of Dior, Shu Uemura, NARS, etc. I was told that that's because their products are of the same range as Dior, Chanel, and other high end brands. That, I cannot attest to since I do not own any Artistry product yet. But here are the three products I plan to purchase soon.

Essentials makeup remover (said to be Tessa Prieto's fave) Php 950 for 120mL, Replenishing Eye Cream Php 665 for 15mL, and the Time Defiance Skin Refinishing Lotion Php 1600 for 30mL (this makes the skin feel so smooth and texture reminds of me silicone-based primers)


Overall, the experience was nice because if it was a bad one, I probably wouldn't want to purchase the three products I mentioned. I know that this is like network marketing but I didn't feel like I was being forced to buy products like some people do. Membership costs Php 1000 and you can sign up as a consumer or for business purposes. I'm thinking that maybe I will, as a consumer, once I have tried one of the three products.

If you are by any chance interested to try and purchase Artistry products, you may contact Dr. Meeko Hilario at 09178163356.

Have a great weekend, super awesome peeps! :)
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Product Review: Kanebo Freshel White C Mineral BB Cream UV

Most of the BB creams I have tried are from Korean brands and when I heard that some Japanese brands are coming up with their own BB creams, I wanted to give it a try because 1. I love Japanese brands and 2. The quality of Jap makeup is superb. So I went ahead and purchased my first ever Japanese BB cream online - Kanebo Freshel White C Mineral BB Cream UV.




What I like:
- Creamy but blends easily with the skin.
- It has yellow undertones which suits most Asian skin.
- There are two shades to choose from - Natural Beige and Medium Beige. I got the former as it is the lighter of the two. It matches my skin tone perfectly.
- Coverage is light and can be built up to get medium coverage. It feels like a hybrid of cream and liquid foundation to me. However, it does not fully cover redness and blemishes. It just makes them look lighter and less visible.
- It does not have the usual BB cream scent.
- Provides a finish that is neither matte nor dewy. It's somewhere in between. I like it because once I set it with powder, it won't look too matte and unnatural.
- Staying power is just like that of liquid and cream foundations on me.
- Does not oxidize on me.
- Does not break me out nor cause any allergic reactions.
- Does not feel heavy or greasy.
- Has SPF 41 PA++
- Pretty expensive for $15 or approximately Php 675 for a BB cream but hey, it's a Japanese brand. Plus it contains 50g of product.
- Locally available for Php 960 at Kanebo counters.

What I don't like:
- Oil control isn't great though. I have to touch up after 2-3 hours. But it could very well be due to my skin type. But now that the weather is colder, I do touch ups after 4 hours or so.
- The hole where the product comes out is pretty big so I sometimes end up getting more than what I need.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Will I buy again? When I run out, I might, since I use this on my no-foundation days.  :)

Tip: I was told that dabbing the product using fingertips than spreading it all over the face gives a better finish. I tried it and it looks more natural. Try it too! :)


Swatch

On me

Have you tried BB creams from Japanese brands?

Happy rainy Sunday, super awesome peeps! :)
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Swatches: Christian Dior 5-Colour Eyeshadow in 820 Moonray

This'll just be a very quick post and I'd like to share swatches of the Christian Dior 5-Colour Eyeshadow in 820 Moonray. I saw a tester of this being sold online so I immediately purchased it even though I thought the colors would just show up the same since they are all very light or pastel shades. When I swatched them, I was "Wow'ed" because they do not look boring and chalky at all.


I researched about this palette and found out that this was released way back in 2003. Now that made me wonder if this tester I got, although labeled as new, is still okay for use because it has been 8 years now. But then again, I still see some Guerlain Divinora testers on eBay so it could probably still be safe to use. It has a 4.1 rating at MakeUpAlley so it was pretty good then.


Closer look

And the swatches. They look almost holographic. I love how each shade reflects the light. The lilac one, however, does not have the same iridescence as the other shades. My faves are the yellow and green ones. I used yellow yesterday and it's such a pretty shade.

Have you tried Dior quints?

Happy Wednesday-Thursday, super awesome peeps! :)

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Product Review: Stila Cotouring Trio

I have tried a few bronzers and mainly used them to contour the cheekbones and make it appear more defined. But I wanted something matte because most of what's locally available have shimmers and it won't look natural if shimmers are obvious on areas that have been contoured. So I was really thrilled when I saw this product for sale - the Stila Contouring Trio - because it has a matte contouring powder. I have used it several times enough to give it a review.



It has 3 shades - Light, Dark, and Flash

It lights up when opened.

What I like:
- It has a mirror. :D
- It has three shades - Dark for contouring; Light for highlighting; and Flash as a shimmery highlighter (I guess)
- A bit powdery but nonetheless easy to blend.
- Unscented.
- The light powder, when applied just right above dark, accentuates and highlights the contoured area even more.
- Dark is a matte brown shade that is quite pigmented. But you have to be extra careful because if too much is applied, it has the tendency to have a bit of orange in it.
- Looks natural if the right amount is applied.
- Does not break me out and neither does it cause any allergic reaction.
- Staying power is acceptable, lasts for about 4 hours or so on my combi-oily skin.
- Has a shelf life of 24 months or two years.
- Locally available at Rustan's, I think.

What I don't like:
- The light annoys me so I used a sticky tape to keep it from lighting up.
- I don't get to use Flash. The palette could've gotten away without it. Just me, though.
- The packaging is bulky and takes a lot of space in my train case. Plus it is made of cardboard, though sturdy. But still...

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Will I buy again? Yes, unless I find a matte bronzer that is great for contouring and won't turn orange on me.

Tip: There is a video on YouTube with a Stila makeup artist demonstrating how to use this palette. You may want to check it out because I think it works even on other contouring and highlighting products.


Swatches

On me

Have you tried this product?

Happy Monday evening, super awesome peeps. Have a great week ahead of you. :)

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