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Monday, June 25, 2012

The Face Shop Power Perfection BB Cream in Natural Beige

Lately, I've been trying out sample sizes of different bb cream brands because mom went away on a month-long trip and she took my Maybelline BB cream (she liked it so much) with her. So being bb cream-less means I have the option to scout around for a replacement without feeling guilty for not using up the previous one! Haha..

Sample sizes are great because you don't want to waste money on stuff that leave you looking like a ghost. If you're still trying to figure out what kind or which brand works best for you, try getting samples first and see if you like it, before committing to a full sized bottle (which could set you back somewhere between Php 700-1000).

Good thing that I found this online shop by Miss Loren, who sells a variety of BB cream brands; from samples to full sized ones. She was having a 3 for 100 deal last month and after checking out the goods I decided on getting bb creams from Korean brands Etude House, The Face Shop, and Skin Food. I've already tried all three, and I must say there are some hits and misses.

I also came up with the following considerations before going full size:

1. High SPF, at least 30, since I'm out in the sun very often
2. Has neutral undertones as much as possible (some have gray/pink undertones that make me look like a corpse in real life and in pictures)
3. Very minimal white cast-pretty difficult to find, since a lot of BB creams leave a white cast which is noticeable in flash photography
4. Easy to spread, because I don't like pulling and tugging on my face

I'll be making separate reviews for each, starting with The Face Shop's Power Perfection BB Cream in Natural Beige

Product Description: 
  • A ‘3-in-1’ BB cream (anti-wrinkle, whitening, sun protection) with perfect coverage 
  • Total Skin Treatment BB cream(Special ingredients for rejuvenating skin): actively addresses all skin problems such as loss of firmness, dry skin, uneven skin texture and dull complexion 
  • Better makeup results (flawless coverage + good adherence + long lasting): 
  • Marvelous airy-touch texture: 
  • A light-as-air texture that smoothly melts into the skin upon application making skin comfortable and able to breathe. 
  • Clinically tested. (Clinical trials to test firmness, moisturization, coverage, and long lasting ability) 
My Review:

Texture: A bit difficult to spread on its own, will require some pulling and tugging to blend it out evenly. To fix this problem I mix in just a drop of argan oil before applying it to my face to make it more blendable. It's lightweight and not heavy at all on the face.

with flash

without flash

Coverage/Finish: On the heavier side of medium. It's buildable, so if you find it too sheer you can add more product to parts that need concealing. I didn't use any concealer at all after using this because my dark circles kind of disappeared already. A little goes a long way with this product; you don't need a lot of it to achieve good coverage. It has a nice finish as well, somewhere in between matte and dewy; it's like your skin, only better.

Scent: Very mild powdery scent

Staying Power and Oil Control: Lasts in the heat, doesn't melt off. Last me a good 10 hours without feathering/flaking off (which happens with Maybelline sometimes). I tried it several times without using powder on top, and after working for 8 hours I didn't look like I dipped my face in a frying pan. My skin looked just slightly dewy, but not oily at all.


Overall, I like it. Good coverage and lasting power. No white cast! And it makes my skin look healthy and glowing from within. Sounds exag but true.Candidate for purchase :)

Have you tried this one from Face Shop? Does it show improvement on skin (as they claim) when used long-term? Let me know! :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

My 3 Favorite Travel Brushes

If I could only bring 3 brushes with me on a trip, or to work, it would be these three from Marrionaud- the N35 (flat eyeshadow brush), N37 (eyeshadow crease/pencil brush), and N38 (double-ended angled brush and mascara brush).

You might be wondering why I need 3 eye brushes and nothing for the face/cheeks. Personally, when I don't have the luxury of time/baggage allowance, I prefer to use my fingers for foundation/blush application for liquid/cream/mousse formulations; or I bring along powders which come with their own sponges and brushes already so there won't be any need to lug around an entire set.

 I don't like doing my eyes with my fingers only- my nails are long and there have been a couple of times when I poked my eye while attempting to apply makeup.

Use it to: Apply your base eyeshadow/lid color. Can even work with cream shadows
Tightly packed bristles, but not scratchy
Doesn't shed or bleed when washed
Php 70

Use it to: Apply crease color, contour eyes, smoke out lashline
Very soft and not scratchy
Doesn't bleed or shed when washed
Php 90

Use it to: Apply liquid, gel or powder eyeliner; fill in or shape brows
Tightly packed yet soft and not scratchy
Doesn't shed or bleed when washed

This is the other tip of the double ended brush, the mascara spoolie

Use it to: Separate clumpy lashes post-mascara application; groom eyebrows
This is very soft too! Not hard and stiff at all like some spoolies
Php 60

Great brushes at rock bottom prices. They're soft, handy, and multi-purpose. Sounds too good to be true? There must be a catch, right? Well, there actually is- these brushes aren't built to last forever, especially if you don't take proper care of them. Improper washing and drying (as I've experienced) can lead to:
  • Loosening of the handle from the ferrule (the metal part of the brush)- this happens when water gets inside and loosens up the glue holding it together
  • The brushes losing their original shape- due to improper cleaning
So here's what I currently do to avoid ruining them:
  • Wash with mild baby shampoo, swirl around on my palm until water clears out
  • Make sure to rinse out all shampoo/soap residue
  • Get a glass, put a few pieces of tissue at the bottom, and place the brushes inside the tissue, with the bristles facing down
  • Don't dry them standing up (bristles facing up) as this will cause water to get inside the ferrule
  • Don't use until completely dry
  • Change tissue if it gets super soaked
You'll like these if:
  • You're on a budget
  • You like to travel light
  • You can't live without eye makeup brushes even when you're on a trip
  • You don't mind that it's made of synthetic fibers

You won't like these if:
You're extremely picky with the quality of your brushes

Where to Get?

Have you tried any one of these or any Marionnaud brushes? How did you like them? :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Etude House VIP Girl lipstick in PK007

One word- LOVE!!!! I super love this color (even though I don't exactly look great in it haha). There's just something about cool-toned pinks that I really like. Maybe it's because they're not exactly everyday colors? Unless you're Gaga or Nicki that is...

Consistency and Staying Power:
Creamy, hydrating, easy to apply. Comes off after a meal.

It's a very pale, cool-toned pink. Pretty much a whitish lilac with a hint of pink. Really close to the hand swatch and how it looks like in the tube, except for the finish- it looks matte in the tube but it's creamy when applied.

Comes in a girly-girl hot pink case.

Has a very faint sweet bubblegum scent; but don't worry, it isn't irritating to the nose.

A few looks on me... Not exactly my best color, but I still love it!

You'll like this if:

  • You like pale shades
  • You want something a little bit "different"
  • You like cutesy product packaging
  • You don't mind looking a bit washed out 
  • You love Lady Gaga/Nicki Minaj (ehem, me)

You won't like this if:

  • You prefer more "traditional" shades of pink
  • You prefer minimalist product packaging
Where to Get:

Etude House, for Php 428. Or shop their online site here

Review: Elf Studio Lipstain in Birthday Suit

After a few months of wanting to try ELF's lipstain, I finally got one. And being the pink addict that I am, I got it in a bubblegum pink shade, Birthday Suit. I was excited to try it on my lips, because the color swatched beautifully on my hand. But my initial excitement of about 2 two minutes suddenly went downhill when I put it on my lips, because that's when I realized what a crappy product this was.

Consistency of Stain and Gloss: 2/5

   So this contains two products in one stick. One side contains the lipstain, while the other side holds the clear gloss. The lipstain was streaky upon application, especially if you use a bit more product. I tried using a lipbrush, but it still didn't help. It takes about 3 minutes to completely dry and achieve a matte finish. For those who want a glossy look, ELF has so generously provided a gloss that basically erases the first layer of product you put on your lips.

Color Pay off: 2/5

Looks pigmented on the tube, on your hand, but not on the lips. This is fine for those who prefer more natural-looking pinks, but I was expecting a bright, bubblegum pink.

A bit difficult to apply at first, gets streaky if you put too much

At 1 minute: partially dry

After 3 minutes: completely dry, color isn't as pigmented when freshly applied

Staying Power: 3/5

Won't disappear if you don't eat or do heavy smooching. But if you do, expect half-eaten lip color at the end of your meal.

Packaging: 2/5

Looks ok, but the quality? I dropped it once when my makeup kit fell out of my bag (on the same day I bought it no less) and the damn think broke. I know it's my fault but it's kind of disappointing that out of all the lip stuff I had in there, this was the only thing that got broken.

Smell: 1/5

Smells plastic-y, almost reminds me of Mighty Bond. Thankfully, the scent doesn't linger for long.

Saving Grace:
As mentioned several times before, I don't like wasting (crappy) makeup. So what I did, I saved whatever was left of the stain and transferred it into a small plastic jar. I never use the stain by itself; I use it instead as a lip mattifier (sorry, I know that's not even a word but I can't of think of anything apt). I usually layer it on top of creamy/glossy lipsticks when I want a matte finish. It works best with pinks, but I also like to layer it on top of darker colors to get a nice new shade.

Would I repurchase?

Definitely not this shade, but I read from other reviews that the others (like Bombshell and Red Carpet) have better color payoff.

Where to Get:

ELF counters, for Php 249

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Skin Care Series: What's Your Skin Type?

Hi girls! I've been getting several post requests lately and I'd like to thank everyone for sending in their inputs! I actually have a pretty long list of "to-do posts" but I never got around to doing a lot of them because work has been keeping me busy. Plus, I can't decide which ones to do first! It's great that you let me know what you wanna see, so I could immediately narrow down my topic list to the ones that matter to you.

So today I'm going to talk about the basic foundation to looking your best- skin care! Great makeup looks start with great skin, and the less you have to hide, the less makeup you have to use.

Skin care has evolved a great deal these days. Once upon a time, it meant grabbing any old white soap, wiping your skin dry, and dabbing on a bit of moisturizer. Very simple, no frills. Admittedly, this does work for some, but those are the gifted few who got lucky in the genetic lottery. For us mere mortals, the water and soap combo just isn't enough. Plus, we are now being bombarded with sooo many products that it's really hard to choose which ones work best for us, which ones are necessities, and which ones are just "add-ons". 

 I've been reading this book called "It's Not Just About Wrinkles" by Dr. Neal Schultz, a Park Avenue dermatologist with over 30 years of practice. It's a really basic approach to skin care, and in the first part of the book he says that before picking out products, or before devising your own skin game plan, it's crucial that we must diagnose our skin type first.

Here are the 6 skin types based on surface characteristics. Try to figure out which category you belong to:

So take a good, long look at your skin (use a magnifying mirror, and go to a place with plenty of light) and try to determine what your skin type is. Was this helpful to you?

P.S. Watch out for the next post in this series on how to choose the right products for your skin type :)

Note: Images of the women are not mine, they are from Google Images. 
     References for the 6 skin types:
Schultz, Neal and Morton, Laura. (2006) "It's Not Just About Wrinkles"

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Nail of the Week: Mocha Gold

Another Nail of the Week Feature! Talk about having a relapse.. I guess abstinence could never cure some addictions.

This is Skin Food Nail Vita in Mocha Gold, a soft subtle gold that isn't too distracting when painted on your nails. Just perfect for those who work/go to school in places where bright-colored polish isn't exactly encouraged. It's like nude polish, but a lot better!

Product Description:

Enriched with vitamins and keratin, this long-lasting nail polish protects dehydrated and rough nails, with enhanced shine.

Product Review:

Consistency: Just right; not too thick, not too runny
Finish: Metallic
Brush: Smooth, doesn't create problems at all
Ease of Application: Super Easy! (note: I used 2 coats in the pictures)
Repurchase? Yes

Where to Get?

I got mine from Miss Loren, Iloilo-based online seller. She sells them for Php 150 (cheaper than mall price) and if you get two bottles you only pay Php 250 for both (which makes it Php 125 a pop). I also ordered another gold shade from her, Coffee Jelly, and I can't wait for it to arrive :) If you want to try them out for yourself and if you want to see other available colors, check them out Skin Food branches.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

1st Blog Giveaway Winners

And as promised, I would be announcing the winners tonight!

Sent you ladies emails as well, please check your inbox for more details. Thanks! <3

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Face Shop Nail Polish in PK 103

It's been a while since I did a NOTW (Nail of the Week),because for the past month I've been giving my poor nails a rest because they seem to get broken quite easily and had yellowish stains because of my nail polish addiction. I cut them off to a very short length and went bare-nailed for a month. But now they've grown back to their usual length and looking a lot healthier than they did a while back, so to celebrate the end of my abstinence, I dug up my polish collection (which I kept hidden from sight to avoid temptation) and chose a pretty pastel shade so it wouldn't be too distracting for work.

The Face Shop PK103

in natural light

with flash

on nails; in natural light

on nails, with flash (sorry for the crappy shot)

This is PK 103 from The Face Shop. It's a pale salmon pink with a pearlescent finish (the salmon color is best seen in the photos without flash). I love TFS polishes because they're so easy to apply! Great consistency, with quality brushes, and I've never experienced surface bubbling with any of these, even if I apply thick coats without waiting for the previous coat to completely dry up. Dries fast, too. 

Where to Get?
The Face Shop, Php 95

Monday, June 4, 2012

Real Women, Real Looks: Makeover #1

Hi girls! Welcome to my first installment of Real Women, Real Looks. I'm thinking of making this a regular feature on the blog, and I hope that I do have enough time (and willing victims lol) in the future so I could post more of these on a regular basis. So basically these are just simple makeovers I've done on my friends/relatives (a million thanks to them for being game enough to be my live makeup dolls, haha).

First up is my friend and colleague, V. She's pretty and has really gorgeous eyes, and for work she just usually does girly looks, opting for neutrals like soft pinks, browns, and nudes.

V's before shot. She's broken out a bit on the cheek area (Stress Drilon sa work) and has dark undereye circles. To remedy this, I used a lightweight, water-based foundation (Maybelline Aqua Gel Foundation in Natural Beige) applied it with a wedge sponge for sheer coverage. I spot concealed the red bumps (refer to this post for a detailed how-to) and dabbed a bit of concealer on the undereye area.

I wanted to try something a little different from her usual look, so I did bold red lips. To balance it out, I did her eyes as well, applying soft pale gold eyeshadow on the lids and lightly shaded the crease with matte brown shadow. 

To add a little bit of drama, I used black liquid eyeliner and winged it out a bit on the ends. Then, I curled her lashes and applied 1 coat of black mascara. I also filled in her brows with dark brown brow powder.

To give her a warm, healthy glow, I applied a warm pink blush on the apples of her cheeks with a big, soft brush.

Detail shot of eyes, without eyeliner

So this is it for the first post in this series! This would work as a great day to night look (but if you're uncomfortable with such a bold lip color for day, try subdued shades of red or pink as a substitute). Did I do a good job of prettifying V? :)