Monday, March 30, 2009

From Venus and Mars

I love bath products and have known about Venus and Mars for sometime but I've been ignoring this brand. Just happy with the stuff I already have from my trusted stores, I guess. Recently though, I decided to try emu oil and since VnM has it I browsed by their website...and I ended up getting some other stuff as well.

Here's the emu oil! It supposedly gives a whole lot of benefits to the skin but I mainly decided to try it to see if it can help with my suuuuper dry skin and eczema (both my daughter and I have it). I've only been using it a few days, and so far haven't had any negative reactions. Can't say yet whether it really helps with my skin condition. Sells at Php 395 per 30 ml bottle. Goes a long way since I only need 1-2 drops a day.

Spa milk salt, a new product (Php 95 for 100 grams). Ingredients: Skim milk, Spa salts, Vanilla beans/Mango mandarin/Coffee mocha/Orange. I chose the Yummy Vanilla scent. And oh, it does indeed smell yummy! Very milky-vanilla. The consistency is just like that of powdered milk:

For exfoliating, whitening, and getting rid of pesky backne. So far I've only used it once in the shower, and mixed it with water but it turns out it's better to apply the product directly to the skin. There was a bit of a stinging sensation which wore off after a while. After my bath my skin was definitely softer! I like the scent very much, I love vanilla :)

Emu lip detox. Contains emu oil, avocado butter, avocado oils, coconut oil, sunflower oil, castor oil, jojoba wax, peppermint essential oils, beeswax and vitamin E oil. Colorless, unscented, with the teeeniest bit of a minty sensation on the lips. I was curious to see how it compares with my favorite Ilog Maria lip balm. Can't say yet. Definitely non-irritating and moisturizing though. Affordable too, at Php 170.

(Poppy Plush, Javanese Lulur, free sample of Minty Geranium Mud)

Still have bars of soap in my closet but I couldn't resist the name: Javanese Lulur! Read about this once. The javanese lulur is an ancient ritual performed on brides-to-be for royalties in Java, Indonesia. It's a very luxurious ritual, done everyday for 40 days straight before the wedding date. The bride's skin is pampered and massaged all over with oils and spices and a lot of other nice stuff. Can you imagine how soft their skin would be by their wedding day?

Venus and Mars' Javanese lulur smells something like a cross between soy or oatmeal, quite subtle, not stinky or anything. A bit abrasive so I lather in my hands first. I use it in tandem with the emu oil for the pimples on my back. Yuck, I know. I hope it helps somehow. Ingredients: emu oil, tea tree essential oil, turmeric, tea tree leaves, shea butter, arbutin, calamansi, papain, olive oil and coconut oil, mango.

My favorite out of the bunch is the Poppy Plush soap. Didn't irritate my skin or dry it out. Vanilla-scented so I love it too! Doesn't smell too strong but lingers on my skin. Our bathroom smells nice too. Love it. Beware of the poppy seeds in the bar though, they can can cause minor cuts. Just let the soap lather in your hands first, don't rub directly on your body. Each VnM 60 gram soap bar costs Php 100.

They have excellent customer service! Kudos to Jamie of Venus&Mars!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Let's join the Aromaleigh contest :)

I don't know which category I should click first when I visit the Aromaleigh website when I visit it- they have so many good products! So dreamy :) They're having a contest until the end of March, giving 5 lucky winners full size sets of the Limited Edition Spring Solstice collection. Nice!

The Spring Solstice colors look beautiful. I've been wanting to experiment with eye makeup for sometime now. I hope I win! Just click on the contest link if you'd like to join too.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Favorite By Nature Handmade Soaps

By Nature Handmade Soaps is a local manufacturer of soaps made of natural ingredients. They have a wide array of soaps to choose from! It's pretty helpful that they categorized the variants according to skin type (click on the 'User's Guide' tab on their website).

I first tried these when I was preggers, and at that time my skin was very irritated, so I chose 3 bars recommended for sensitive skin: Baby Blue, Very Oatmeal, and Cocoa Butter Melt.

Baby Blue remains my favorite. Contains chamomile essential oil, calendula extract, goat’s milk, honey, aloe vera gel, oatmeal, and vitamin E, and can be used by both babies and adults. It's unscented, the bar itself is smooth and non-abrasive, and it's not drying to the skin. It really helps with reducing itchiness, and is calming to my easily irritated skin. I used Dove before, and have not gone back to it. This is much better. I also use this on my baby, and I find it better than Dove Baby. We both use Baby Blue everyday so I stock up on it.

Cocoa Butter Melt is creamy and moisturizes well, but does not leave any residue on the skin, so there's no sticky feeling afterwards. There are these cute little grains in the soap which look like cocoa powder. It's unscented as well and is very mild.

Very Oatmeal is fun to use because of the oats in it- it's good for exfoliating and you can just rub the bar itself on your skin, no need for a loofah. The grains are okay and not at all rough on the skin. Also unscented and mild.

Out of the scented variants I've tried, I like Simply Jasmine and Choco Latte. They're subtly scented, which is what I prefer for my soap products, and are gentle to the skin as well. Simply Jasmine isn't too floral- it's got a very clean, simple scent. Choco Latte isn't too sweet smelling- it's kinda like a minty chocolate. Both quite fresh-smelling.

These soaps are affordable at about Php 95 to Php 155 each. One bar lasts me a relatively long time!

A few tips on using by nature soaps:
-Cut a bar in 2 or 3 parts. They last longer that way as compared to when it's used all at once.
-Place the soap in a dish that doesn't retain water or have a rough surface(so it won't all melt too quickly).
-Put the soap dish in an area that won't get splashed with water(also so it won't get all soggy).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Burt's Bees Lip Shimmers - Fig and Rhubarb

I do love lip balms and lip tints, and when I saw these Burt's Bees Lip Shimmers, I thought they were a good combo of moisturizer and color in one. I got two shades-

and Rhubarb

Ingredients: Castor oil, sunflower oil, beeswax, candelilla wax, peppermint oil, lanolin, cocoa butter, tocopherol (Vitamin E), carnauba wax, rosemary leaf extract. May contain iron oxide, mica, carmine, titanium dioxide.

Got them from a seller in Multiply for Php 200 each. Can also be bought locally at Beauty Bar stores for a slightly higher price.

Here's what I think:

Moisturization: Not very moisturizing...not soothing either. In fact, this gave my lips a stinging sensation! I don't know if it was the peppermint oil in it or another ingredient but it really stung. Despite that I still gave it a try but after a while my lips would start itching, then chapping. I was thinking it was probably just me with my sensitive lips so I had my husband try it(heehee), and he experienced no irritation at all. He said he liked the slight minty sensation and scent. I liked the peppermint scent too, but damn, these really irritated my lips.

Color: I spent way too long choosing which shades to get. But I made the right choice with Fig. It's an earthy red color with a bit of pink. I liked it so much that I continued using it even though my lips were itchy the whole time. Too bad I lost my tube of Fig. I'm not willing to buy again though. Also, they're shimmers which supposedly impart only a hint of color, but they're very pigmented. I had to carefully control the amount of product I applied- dabbed it on instead of directly swiping from the tube. Much more like a lipstick than gloss. As for Rhubarb, if you've seen a rhubarb plant, yes-they're kinda the same color. It's too light pink for my liking though. I looked weird with the Rhubarb shade on. So unnatural-looking.

Well, I definitely won't buy these again mostly due to the sensitive skin on my lips but if I didn't have any reaction to it, I think I'd like to try the other shades. If you find that this dries your lips, try putting on lip balm first. :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Barenaturals clearance sale haul

Featuring another local mmu brand: Barenaturals

Their stock are currently on clearance since they're in the process of releasing new products. So I waited 'til now to make my purchase. Hehe.

Barenaturals haul:

Mineral liptints in Coralberry, Delusional, and a freebie with no label :)
Got them at about Php 130 each. Delusional is actually my mom's- she loves nude lip colors. Sweet freebie. It looks pink in the tube but imparts no color when applied on the lips, only a slightly noticeable frosty pink sheen. It's the only one I've tried so far...

Blushes in Dollface Cheenee and Prettiest pinky-peach.
Dollface looks so natural on the cheeks. It gives a natural dewy look which I really like. Got it at Php 185 and Prettiest pinky-peach at Php 170. Pinky peach is my first peach blush. I wonder if peach blushes will complement my color.

Plus freebie blushes: Viva Sofia, and two new shades- Dainty and French Kiss.

Brushes: Softest Focus Flat Top brush and Kabuki brush
The flat top is like an EDM flat top dupe, hehe. The kabuki, hmm, not sure about this yet...initially I found it felt velvety and soft but after I used it some more it seems a bit scratchy. I've washed them a couple of times though, neither shed nor bled. Priced, respectively, Php 419 and Php 495.

Therapeutic skin perfecting foundation in golden neutral- medium, illumiglow finishing powder in invisiglow, and therapeutic skin perfecting concealer. About Php 170 each. Ok, I haven't tried any of these three yet.

My mmu excitement has been dampened a bit because my skin has been horrible lately. Not just on my face, which is so dry and seems to be breaking out again, but also my allergies have been flaring up. Ugh. And my baby girl has eczema, the poor thing. So I've been focusing more on eating right and finding good natural skin care products. I also went to Healthy Options to get me some vitamins, which is mainly to benefit my daughter and her skin condition (am exclusively breastfeeding her), but I hope it helps me too. I take these everyday:

vitamin a, c, &d in one antioxidant tablet
vitamin b
evening primrose oil

I do hope they help my daughter and I. I'd love to continue experimenting with mmu, post an fotd... :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Finally got my Everyday Minerals loot

Yahoo! Got it 17 days after I ordered. Now I have their brushes, which I have yet to try (just got them today) but I thought I'd post some pics, since aside from my own set I have more of these and am putting those up for sale:

the foptic

the angled blush brush

the long handled kabuki

and the flat top

Don't they look nice? They are sooooo soft. The blush brush is the cutest thing. Love it!

I used a different camera this time by the way, and if you click on the pictures you'll be able to see them in further detail.

For anyone in the Philippines interested in buying, they're only Php 450 each. Hehe sorry if this post is too advertise-y. But anyway, I'm glad I own some EDM brushes now...I can't wait to show them to my mom who also recently got into mmu.

Of course I got the free sample kit too.

Clockwise from top left:
Blush in Snuggle
Multi-tasking concealer
Golden medium tan(original glo)
Medium beige neutral foundation (intensive)
Golden light (intensive)

On a sidenote, I was afraid I was going to get charged customs tax but the alabang post office really is the best, they just charged me the usual Php 35.

I can't wait to try everything!

By the way if you'd like to get these brushes, simply leave a comment or email me at Happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I've found THE lip balm for me

Ilog Maria's Propolis and Beeswax Lip Balm!

Made from: refined beeswax, Propolis Gold, Virgin Honey and a medley of fruit oils.

Price: Php 71.50 or approx $1.50

I can't believe it's so cheap! I would buy this even if Ilog Maria were to raise their prices much higher.

My skin has always been dry and sensitive, and my lips are the same way. But they have remained soft since I started using this lip balm. I use it everyday, and find that's it's best to reapply throughout the day to get really smooth, soft lips. I used to buy a lot lip balms from different brands but these days I tend to look at other stuff. I guess 'cause I've already found my HG lip balm. Yay!

Regarding the product's scent, my friend finds it a bit medicine-y but I think it smells like banana & honey flavored oatmeal. It's subtly scented anyway, not at all overpowering.

I also like that it doesn't have a nasty taste, in fact it doesn't seem to have any taste to it at all. It gives a a slight minty sensation when applied on the lips, which I find rather soothing. All in all, a great find.

This is available at the Ilog Maria Farm in Cavite or through their website - which overwhelmed me with all the products the first time I visited it (I've since tried a lot of them, by the way).

*Photo from the Ilog Maria website.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My make-up removers

I use Humanheartnature's Honey Facial Cleanser & Make-Up Remover

and Oneplanetnoah's Oasis Soothing Baby Oil.

I really like 'em both, since both are very mild to the skin, and remove make-up pretty well.

Honey Facial Cleanser - cocoa butter, beeswax, goat's milk, bee propolis, distilled water, dark hiney, natural vitamin E.

Oasis Baby Oil - Virgin Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Avocado Oil, Colloidal Oatmeal, Aloe Vera Extract, Calendula Extract, Evening Primrose Oil, Chamomile and Lavender Essential Oils, Vitamin E.

Prices: Honey Facial Cleanser at Php 99.75 (approx $2.05) at 100ml and Oasis Soothing Baby oil at Php 180 (approx $3.72) for 50ml.

Both are suitable for all skin types. Neither caused me any skin irritation at all nor dried out my skin. HHN's Honey Facial Cleanser is unscented, while I find Oasis Baby Oil's mix of lavender, oatmeal, and virgin coconut oil scents quite pleasant. If I'm too lazy to wipe off with cotton or if I just put on light make-up, I tend to use HHN as I can just wash it off with water. This is an okay product, cheap but it works.

If I used medium to heavy make-up coverage though, I remove it with Oasis Baby Oil since I notice that this removes make-up very thoroughly. I actually bought this for my baby girl but as one of its suggested use was as mom's make-up remover, I gave it a try. Now I'll have to get a bigger size because I'm lovin' it! After I use this I wash my face with my usual facial wash, and every time, my skin feels much softer than usual. It's multi-purpose too. Will not be looking for more make-up removers as these two work well for me :)

Where to get them:

*Photos taken from respective websites.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dickinson's Witch Hazel

I go to Healthy Options every now and then to buy my vitamins but just ignored this product 'til I saw it being discussed in the girltalk forum. I was curious and they have sample sizes at about only Php 60 (approx $1.24) each so I went ahead and tried the two variants:

There's one with a yellow label, and another with a blue label.

Yellow label ingredients: All Natural Witch Hazel 100% , Alcohol 14%, Witch Hazel Extract.
Brief description at the back of the bottle
Non-drying & deep cleansing
Gently removes dirt & oil
100% all natural
Dermatologist tested & recommended

Blue label ingredients:All Natural Witch Hazel 100% , Alcohol 14%.
Brief description at the back of the bottle
Calming - calms irritated skin
Soothing - soothes minor abrasions
Cleansing - removes dirt & oil

I think the main difference is that the yellow bottle has one additional ingredient, and it's meant to be used on the face as an astringent/toner, while the blue bottle can be used on both the face and body.

I used the yellow bottle everyday for 3 weeks, then switched to the blue one which I've been using for about 3 weeks also now (after cleansing and before moisturizing), and what I've noticed so far is that:

My face feels really clean and smooth after using either the blue or yellow variant.
No skin irritations resulted from using either products.
They don't sting the skin.
The smell doesn't bother me, in fact I barely noticed that they were scented. Some people don't like how these smell though.
The yellow variant made my dry skin even more dry. I noticed this the following morning. The yellow variant is probably more suitable for oily skin types.
My complexion seems a bit brighter and more even.
That's about it and I probably need longer use to see its effects (if there are any more).

They're available at Healthy Options stores...which have a number of natural skincare product lines but I'm not sure which ones I should try first. Hehe.

Friday, March 13, 2009

First Post/Ellana Mineral Cosmetics

(A short introduction) I was never into make-up, so not only am I an mmu newbie, I'm a newbie to make-up in general, hehe. I've had dry, sensitive skin since forever and during pregnancy I developed acne. My skin is a bit better now, but I still have pimples and blemishes. So I've started experimenting with mmu, which I find really fun. I haven't actually even figured out what shade I am exactly and a lot of other stuff but it feels good to put on make-up and feel like a girl again :)

First up, a local brand: Ellana Mineral Cosmetics

What I got:

Brushes - baby buki (comes with a case), concealer brush, crease brush. Priced, respectively, Php 300, Php 200, Php 200 (all approx $6.20 or less)...which is quite affordable. They're soft, and I washed them once and they didn't shed or discolor. The baby buki is cute but too small for applying foundation all over. Good for touch-ups and travelling since it comes with a case. I use it for applying blush 'cause my blush brush is still in the mail. The concealer brush is OK, but this is my first concealer brush so I've nothing to compare it to. If you know of a better concealer brush please feel free to suggest to this mmu newbie :) I only got the crease brush 'cause it was recommended in the catalog for applying concealer on blemishes.

Foundation - french vanilla latte (premium blend) , hazelnut latte & caramel latte (both pure blend 2-1 Foundation & Concealer). No itchiness nor break-outs but I'm still not sure what my shade is. I got all the mmu in 1g sample pots, each at Php 100 (about $2).

Blush - flirtation (a sheer pink).

Concealer - innocence for red spots, awake for undereye circles (this is the one without a label in the photo above).

Finishing powder - espresso con panna (this one came in a jar that was kinda different from the rest).

Lippies (left to right in photo) - lip treatment in strawberry kiss, moisturizing lip color in infatuation and sensual, liquid lip color in lovely (on top). These are priced merely Php 150 ($3.10) each.

Lip treatment in Strawberry Kiss - leaves a very slight, light pink sheen. It smells just like strawberries but the scent isn't overly artificial or annoying. It does make my lips soft.

Moisturizing lip color in Infatuation - the color looks very bright and pigmented in the pot but goes on sheer. Infatuation looks bright red in the pot but is actually a pinkish red color when applied on the lips.

Moisturizing lip color in Sensual - again this looks different when applied. It looks dark in the pot but is so natural looking on the lip. It's pretty much an everyday color, and is easy to wear. These smell good too.

Liquid lip color in Lovely - is not glossy, more like a lip tint, which I like. Not sticky either. A pretty purplish-pink. Color lasts long but I'm still getting the hang of using the pen applicator. I think using a lip brush would be better so I'm on the look out for a good one.

The lip products are naturally my favorite because I love lipsticks and lip tints and lip balms. Also 'cause sometimes I'm too lazy too put on make-up and just put some color on my lips.

You can browse their complete catalog at their website, They also have a showroom at West Avenue, Quezon City.
I prefer to order through a certain local reseller though, because she gives faster replies :)
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