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Friday, February 24, 2012

Fake It: Long, Luscious Locks with Clip-in Hair Extensions

Have you ever dreamed of having long, Kim Kardashian locks but don't have the patience to actually wait for your hair to grow? The solution: clip-in hair extensions! Since I currently cannot rape my hair any further with more heat styling and chemicals, this grab and go, or should I say clip and go option is just perfect.

I spotted these one time while cyber-window shopping on the bank account nightmare that is I researched a bit about them, and after some consideration I thought about giving it a try.

I ordered mine from Lulu Hair Extensions; it's one-piece, dark brown, wavy and 24 inches long. The seller is super nice and accommodating; she answered all my queries promptly. I also got my order the next day after I paid, which was great :)

When I opened my package, I loved it! It was super soft, looked so real, and super easy to use. The thing I love most about it is that you can look like you actually spent time doing your hair, when in reality you just spent a little more than 3 minutes on it haha. And of course, the fact that you can change your look anytime without causing damage to your real hair is another plus factor. I've worn it several times already and a lot of my friends didn't even notice I was wearing one.

How to Use:

1. Put your hair up in a half ponytail.
2. Attach clips in the middle part, make sure the hair piece is centered.
3. Take down the half ponytail. Make sure the entire clip area is covered with your natural hair. Lightly comb/brush, and that's it! :)

Here's a little comparison to give you an idea of how it actually looks like on me...

(Top: my natural, flat, fried hair. Bottom: with the wavy hair extensions. Photo credits to: Mien Tagua of TBPB)

What to consider when getting hair extensions:

1. Do you want real human hair, synthetic, or a mix of the two?

Real human hair obviously looks and feels like the real thing, is a bit pricier than the others, and you can curl/straighten/blowdry it without causing major damage. Lasts longer than synthetic hair. You can care for it like you do your real hair: shampoo, condition, and dry.

When choosing synthetic/mixed hair, make sure you get high quality ones, because cheap hair falls out and falls apart easily. With proper care, can last 6-12 months. Cheap hair cannot be heat styled as it cannot tolerate high heat which will melt the fibers. When caring for synthetic hair, ask the seller if there's any specific way to wash it. Some recommend shampoo and conditioner only, while some recommend soaking it in fabric conditioner.

2. Do you want the 8 inch, one piece system, or do you want to buy several 2 inch clips so you can choose how full or how long you want go?

Get the 1 piece system if you don't want to spend too much time doing your hair. But if you could spare a few extra minutes, get the 2 inch clips and buy around 8-10 pieces. This will give you more volume and length.

3. The length: some sellers offer a variety of lengths to choose from (like 15 inches, 22 inches, and 25 inches) or just one uniform length for all their hair pieces

4. The color: there are also a variety of options, from black, dark brown, light brown, blonde, and everything in between. If your hair is dyed, choose one that matches your current shade. 

5. The style: most shops usually have rebonded, wavy, and curly.

Happy hair hunting! :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

How To: Purple Smokey Eye

The smokey eye is definitely my go-to look for shoots, nights out, and just about any occasion where I want my eyes to take center stage. Some people think creating the perfect smokey eye is difficult and requires a lot of tools, time, and products, but I seriously think this is one of the easiest eye looks to do.

Today, I had a shoot for The Brown Paper Bag; and since I was running late I pretty much just threw whatever I saw into my bag. Very minimal products were used, just the following:

  • Estee Lauder Holiday Deluxe Palette (shades Mink, Amethyst and Pale Moon)
  • ELF Duo Eye Shadow Cream in Berry Mix
  • Nichido Color Intense Eye Pencil in 06 Deep Plum
  • Maybelline Volum Express Mascara The Falsies

(To give you an idea of how the colors look like, here's the palette I used plus the names of the shades used)

1. Conceal dark circles; because smokey eyes+dark under eye circles= black eye look

2. Pat the shade Mink all over the eye as a base.

3. Take the Elf Eye Shadow Cream's darker shade, apply all over the lid (lashline up to the crease, then extend just a teensy bit above the crease to create a nice contoured look. The cream eyeshadow will later help the dark color adhere better and make it more vibrant.

4. Pat the lighter shade Pale Moon into the inner corner of your eye up to the middle part.

5. Then apply the darker shade, Amethyst, from your eye's middle part up to the end, then all over the crease.

6. Take Pale Moon again and apply underneath the brows to highlight the browbone.

7. Blend Pale Moon a bit into the crease, blending out the darker shade Amethyst a bit to eliminate any harsh lines and to create a nice, seamless look.

8. Using Nichido's purple eyeliner, line both the top and bottom lashes. Create a strong line underneath the eye and make sure it connects/blends with the line on the upper lash.

9. Apply black mascara all over lashes.

You don't have to use the exact same products used; same colors can definitely be substituted to get the same  effect. This entire look was created in about 20 minutes (from face prep to doing finishing touches) which is pretty much shorter tham my usual 45 minute routine haha, so, achievement! Just remember that when doing a smokey eye, there is no such thing as too much color; you just have to blend blend blend til it's prefect!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fake It: How to Cover Up Blemishes and Pimples

Yes, flawless skin can be faked in a few minutes. We are not walking Neutrogena billboards and we will have days where an occasional zit (or zits, depending on your skin type and genetic disposition) decides to show up and ruin our day. And what if this unwelcome visitor also shows up at a very unfortunate time, like say, the day before your prom or an important event? Obviously, treating the thing won't help that much because it might take anywhere from 2-5 days for it to completely disappear. So we go for the next best option- cover it up with make up.

This is my friend V, who is having a bad skin day. Stress from work is what triggered her break out episode. There are raised red bumps on both sides of her cheeks, and we will work on covering it up (note- this camouflage technique will only mask the color and not the texture. The raised surface will still be there but the red color will disappear)

What to use:

1. green corrective concealer- to correct the redness in the skin
2. a creamy concealer that matches skin tone
3. small concealer brush
3. small wedge sponge
4. loose powder
5. water-based foundation (optional)

How To:

This is how V's skin looked like before

1. Start by prepping skin with moisturizer

2. I used a small concealer brush to pat on the green concealer (Elf's Corrective Concealer pallette) on the red spots, then blended out excess product with my fingers.

3. Next, I picked out a creamy concealer (Coastal Scents) in a shade that's similar to V's skin, and using the same concealer brush, covered the red bumps. The same shade was also used to cover up other skin tone irregularities on the face. 

4. With the small wedge sponge, blend out hard edges and make sure that the concealer melts into the skin.

5. Set the concealer with loose powder.

6. Optional: If you need medium to heavy coverage, use foundation after. For V, I used Maybelline's aqua gel foundation, mixing two shades because their shade selection is so limited that it's difficult to find an exact match for a lot of skin tones. I applied it with a foundation brush for a nice, clean finish.

7. Set entire face with transluscent loose powder.

Voila! Zit-free skin, at least for a day :)

Human Nature Hits Part 2

Continuation of Part 1

1. Night Moisturizer with Royal Jelly and Aloe Vera

This product has actually been discountinued and replaced with the All Natural Night Mositurizing Cream (featured in previous post). And although the latter's packaging is a lot more sleeker and nicer, I like the Royal Jelly Night Mositurizer's formulation better. The consitency is much thicker, it's a heavy night cream but does not cause breakouts. And more importantly, it didn't make my pores bigger, like the new formulation did. I woke up in the morning with my skin glowing, looking very well rested and moisturized. I wish they still kept the same formulation for the new product.

2. Balancing Face Toner (Php 109)

Their claim:

Exotic and prized, Elemi oil is known for its skin-care benefits and healing properties. Meanwhile, lactic acid (from sugar) intensively moisturizes skin and helps stimulate skin to regenerate. Help keep oil under control with our blend of Elemi oil & marine extracts for shine-free, glowing skin. Don’t get old, pamper yourself with nature’s best. Complements our Balancing Facial Wash.
My verdict:
The fact that it contains no alcohols and astringent makes this a winner. Doesn't make my pores big and makes my skin look brighter and less oily. Although I've never been a fan of toner, nor do I see the need to use one religiously, trying out an organic version is slowly converting me.
3. Hand and Foot Salve with Bee Propolis and Carrot Extract in Eucalyptus (Php 109)
Their claim:
Instantly treat, moisturize and protect dry, aging hands, cracked heels and other damaged spots. With the strong antioxidant properties of Bee Propolis and Carrot. Our trustworthy hand and foot salve has been used even by cancer patients to bring back the healthy glow to the driest skin.

My verdict:
Love this! It's a thick cream that can really moisturize and soften my hands and feet whenever they a feel a little too dry. I like anything minty, so the Eucalyptus variant was the perfect choice for me. It smells nice and has a minty feeling on the skin.

4. Natural Purifying Facial Scrub (Php 99, not in picture)

Their claim:

Face the year with a fresh start! Our all-new, all-natural facial scrub has real strawberry seeds and fine bamboo granules to gently scrub away dirt, oil, dull-looking skin cells as well as last year's bad habits. So you can start the year with a softer, smoother, brighter complexion and with a new year's resolution to purify your skin two to three times a week for a fresh, pure clean without that tight, dry feeling!
My verdict:
I use this every two weeks, and it makes my skin look better everytime. No breakouts, redness or irritation from this one.

5. Aloe Vera Kids Shampoo and Body Wash (Php 129, not in picture)

Their claim:

Get your kids to look forward to bath time with this yummy-scented 2-in-1 shampoo and body wash! Convenient to use, cleans effectively yet gently and is completely harmful chemical-free. So the bath chores are done and they’ve had their fun and you’re a Super Mom!

My verdict:

I actually got this for my baby niece, but I end up stealing it all the time lol. The light fruity scent of watermelon is tempting enough, and the small size also makes it perfect to bring along on trips.

So this sums up my favorite Human Nature products of all time. There's a lot to love about them (it's Philippine-made, super duper affordable and doesn't contain harmful ingredients. Easily accessible too, check out their easy to navigate website and shop there, or find the list of stores available in your area.

Human Nature Hits Part 1

(L-R: All Natural Hand Sanitizer, All Natural Mositurizing Night Cream, Sunflower Beauty Oil, Night Mositurizer with Royal Jelly and Aloe Vera, Balancing Face Toner, Hand and Foot Salve)

About three years ago, organic products were quite difficult to find in the Philippines and the ones available are mostly foreign brands with pricy products. Luckily enough, there's been  a strong "going green" movement and companies started creating products that satisfied this need.

Enter Human Nature, maker of locally-made, organic products that do not have any trace of synthetic and harmful ingredients. "Only the good", as their tagline claims. They have a whole range of products, from hair care to skin care to baby care to make up.

So when Human Nature opened shop here in Iloilo last year, I wasted no time in signing up to be a dealer, which gets me a 10% discount with every purchase. I got to try a variety of products because there was a minimum initial purchase requirement to be made. Although I was happy with most of my loot, some of them were quite disappointing (but that's just me, products that didn't work so well for me might work better on others).

So I've compiled a list of my favorite Human Nature products which I really love. I'm calling it my Human Nature Hit List. Will do a post on the misses next time. :)

1. Human Nature All Natural Spray Sanitizer Citrus Burst (Php 67)

Their claim:
Keep harmful bacteria at bay without drying out your hands with our all natural spray sanitizer. This handy spray formulation is also perfect for toys, hard surfaces and potty seats.
My verdict:
Cute packaging, smells nice, and very handy. Doesn't dry out my hands, and I also use it on a lot of other stuff too. This is also a staple in my make up case; I use it to disinfect brushes in between clients.
2.  100% Natural Moisturizing Night Cream with Plant Collagen (Php 149)
Their claim:
Skincare magic while you sleep! Plant collagen casts a spell for enchantingly renewed skin by morning.
My verdict:
I've tried this baby for two weeks, and although I do wake up with a bright complexion and a well-rested look, closer inspection of my skin revealed larger-looking pores on my cheeks :| The consistency is also a bit more runny than it's predecessor(will be featured in part 2 of this post) and it just has this weird smell that I absolutely cannot stand when it's on my face. So why did this still make my list? Well, I don't really like throwing out stuff away so I usually find other ways to use them. I've been using this as a moisturizer for my hands, elbows, knees and other areas that might need more moisturizing. It does a good job of keeping my skin soft.
3. Sunflower Seed Beauty Oil (Php 129)
Their claim:
Do you believe in miracles? Feel the years fall away as your premium beauty oil caress the tired skin under and around your eyes, helping minimize dark circles, remove fine lines and smooth out wrinkles with every gliding touch.
My verdict:
Of all their products, this one is my absolute favorite. Good things most definitely come in small packages! I love this multi-purpose oil, I've found it very useful as a make up remover, under eye moisturizer, scar remover, nail and hair treatment. It's like petroleum jelly, only much better and less harmful.
Not in Picture (because I already ran out and I haven't restocked yet hehe)
4. Citronella Bug Spray
Their claim:
Shoo off mosquitoes and other pesky bugs with an effective, organic antidote. With natural skin moisturizers your skin will thank you for it!
My verdict:
After seeing that feature on how toxic those anti-mosquito lotions out there on the market are, I immediately sought out natural alternatives to keep away bugs. And this one really delivers! I love that it comes in a pump, I like the citrusy scent, I like that the size is also travel-friendly. Very affordable too, and goes the extra mile of mosturizing your skin while shooing away the mosquitoes.
5. Natural Lip Balm in Peppermint (Php 69)
The claim:
Experience the smoother, softer glide and the mouth-watering natural flavors that will surely keep you reaching for your lip balm again and again...and again!
My verdict:
Keeps my lips soft and I like the minty feeling from the peppermint variant.
This is it for Part 1. Part 2 will be posted tomorrow, so stay tuned!