Thursday, May 20, 2010

Procrastinating with a tag - Getting to Know Each Other!

I should be catching up on work, but instead, I'm procrastinating by doing this tag ;)  Saw this recently on a number of blogs I'm following.
  • Create a New Blog Post
  • Paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your title as "Getting to Know Each Other!" 
  • Tag as many people as you like :) 
  • Don't forget to link the person who has given you the award
  • Contact the bloggers to let them know they've been tagged
1. What time did you get up this morning?   Around 9:30 AM
2. How do you like your steak?   I rarely eat steak, but I like it well done.
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?   Avatar.  Hehe.
4. What is your favorite TV show?   Glee, Fringe, Lost, Supernatural, Merlin.
5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?   Somewhere colder.  It's too hot here.
6. What did you have for breakfast?   I had brunch- chicken nuggets and eggs.
7. What is your favorite cuisine?   Japanese.
8. What foods do you dislike?  Crab and shrimp.

9. Favorite place to eat?   Pepper Lunch, Racks, pretty much anywhere.
10. Favorite dressing?   Vinaigrette.
11. What kind of vehicle do you drive?   A Ford Lynx (my dad's).
12. What are your favorite clothes?   Jeans + breezy top or an easy-to-wear dress.
13. Where would you visit if you had the chance?  Baguio!
14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full?   Half full!
15. Where would you want to retire?   Maybe in Baguio, hehe.
16. Favorite time of day? Nighttime
17. Where were you born?  Manila
18. What is your favorite sport to watch?   Tennis, Poker, Pool, Gymnastics.
19. Who do you think will not tag you back?   I don't know
20. Person you expect to tag you back first?   ???
21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this?   Everyone
22. Bird watcher?   Um,yes?
23. Are you a morning person or a night person?   Night person, trying to be a morning person.
24. Do you have any pets?   Yes we have 3 dogs and a cat. :)
25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share?  Stayed tune for my possibly new online shop?
26. What did you want to be when you were little?   A scientist
27. What is your best childhood memory?   Christmases!
28. Are you a cat or dog person?  Dog person
29. Are you married?   Yes
30. Always wear your seat belt?   Often
31. Been in a car accident?   Yes, when I was a kid.
32. Any pet peeves?  Prejudice and closed-mindedness.
33. Favorite Pizza Toppings?  Pineapple
34. Favorite Flower?  White Calla Lillies
35. Favorite ice cream?   Chocolate!
36. Favorite fast food restaurant?   Jollibee or KFC, I love my chicken.
37. How many times did you fail your driver's test?   I didn't even take a driver's test to get my license. Haha.
38. From whom did you get your last email?   From a forum member.
39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?  Zara
40. Do anything spontaneous lately?  Sadly, no.
41. Like your job?  Part-time working stay-at-home mom, yes.
42. Broccoli?   Love it!
43. What was your favorite vacation?   After my wedding, with hubby.
44. Last person you went out to dinner with?  Family.
45. What are you listening to right now?   Nothing.
46. What is your favorite color?   Pink and Black.
47. How many tattoos do you have?  None. But I want one.
48. How many are you tagging for this quiz?   Anyone who wants to take it.
49. What time did you finish this quiz?   5:16 PM.
50. Coffee drinker?   Yes.

Maybe next week when our house helper comes back from vacation, I can come up with an actual blog post.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ukay-ukay finds :)

I've always enjoyed unearthing unique, pretty clothing for cheap at ukay-ukays (local thrift stores that sell clothing, shoes, and purses).  When I became a mom though, I began to dress mostly, if not purely, for comfort.  Lately, I've been trying to find my own style again, as well as trying to figure out what'll suit my body type.  So I took the time to visit the ukays again.  Click the photos to enlarge!

 This dress feels cool and easy.  I just put on some flip-flops and I'm done.  I like the cute 'dress' print too :)  I'm not crazy about the puffed sleeves, but I realized that it keeps the dress from looking too casual.  It's white but looks a bit yellow here because of the afternoon sun.

Here's the cute print.

I heart this long top.  The grey cardigan is sewn in with the pretty, blue floral blouse, and the fit on me is very relaxed.  It's kinda sheer, and I like how light the blouse feels.  

I love light grey and heather greys.  Light, breathable fabric again.  I can't bear wearing anything clingy or remotely heavy in this sweltering hot weather.  I like too that it disguises my belly flab and kinda hugs the boobs area, hehe.  It looks a bit askew here, but doesn't, irl.

Cool, this looks like a sepia photo!  I've had this dainty floral dress for ages but only started wearing it recently.  I adore the vintagey, summery feel to it.♥  It was originally too long but I had it shortened to make it into a mini dress.  This is sheer, but the busy print prevents my undies from showing.  I wore it to the supermarket last night.

A close-up of the print.

I found some other stuff but they turned out to be too loose on me.  I'll be visiting the ukays again when I feel that itch for new clothes!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bvlgari Omnia Amethyste

I wanted to get a new fragrance for myself and luckily was able to get Bvlgari Omnia Amethyste Eau de Toilette through a swap with Mina, done via a local forum. :)

Product description: Bvlgari presents a new floral fragrance inspired by the precious iridescence of the amethyst: The essence of Omnia Amethyste is as precious and delicate as the scent of iris and rose gardens caressed with the morning dew. Elegant and refined, Omnia Amethyste is dedicated to the young woman who expresses herself through an enveloping, yet fresh fragrance. 

I like the pretty purple color of the bottle.  The design is...different.  I find that I prefer more classic-looking packaging, and something with a cap on it.  Perfume spritzes out by pressing down on the top part of the bottle. It's okay but I don't bring it in my purse. 

When I received this and was unwrapping it from the careful packaging, I pressed too hard and accidentally sprayed some of the fragrance.  Sniffing the bottle, I thought, whew! That's a pretty strong scent. And the sweetness to it somewhat reminded me of Vera Wang Princess.  The following day I sprayed it on my wrist and it seemed vastly different.  I didn't find it strong at all, in fact, it was rather demure.  The scent lingers on for hours, but at times is a bit faint, and is always soft, never sharp or overpowering.

I do like trying scents that are complex, and unique, but most of the time, because of our hot climate, what I find myself wearing are light, summery fragrances.  Omnia Amethyste can be classified as one of the latter, and I find the sort of peppery note combined with the green note that it opens with refreshing, and the slightly powdery, vanillic sweetness of the middle notes very pleasant and yummy (well, I love vanilla).  The scent turns lightly woodsy and more floral as it dries down, and still retains some of its sweetness.

I've been wearing it often since it fits my current mellow, laid back mood.  I also like wearing it when I'm with my husband as to me it smells feminine, soft and pretty.   I am glad I swapped for this and I shall try the original Omnia, and the other flanker, Omnia Crystalline, within the next few days.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I love opening packages...

I've been avoiding shopping online. :)  Plus I'm on a makeup buy ban, and this time, I've actually stuck to it.  Why?  Because recently I organized my stash and had to throw out a bunch of lippies that had gone bad, and I realized I had barely even used them.  I felt pretty bad about that. 

I did receive some makeup in the mail this week though, and I have Saila, The Adventurous Purple Koala to thank for that. :)  I happened to win her giveaway for a Fyrinnae gift voucher.  I chose mostly Lip Lustres, plus two shadows, and two blushes.  Processing time for my order took a reasonable 10 days, fyi, for people who might be discouraged from the time frame displayed on the Fyrinnae site.

Top to bottom- Lip Lustres in Lollipop-Pop, Fanservice, Meloncholy, Ryo-Pinko, Bloodstains, and Deceptive Innocence.  I want to do a separate post on the Lip Lustres. ♥

Glow Blushes in Intrigue and Charm, Arcane Magic eyeshadows in Velvet Vampire (I love the name, and the color!) and Electric Stardust, plus a free sample of Warrior Mage.  Warrior Mage is actually a shade I've ordered before.  But I'm not complaining, now I have an almost full size of it. :)

These smelled wonderful coming out of the package.  A Schwarzkopf Essensity Gift Pack, from Sophie of Beautynomics' massive anniversary giveaway.  Sophie said she loves how these soften her hair and smell so good! I received them weeks ago, but have only tried the shampoo since I'm waiting for a shower filter I ordered to arrive.

I admit, lately I haven't been taking good care of my skin, or my health in general!  I am having such bad breakouts.  But since the factors contributing to my breakouts (like my not sticking to a consistent skin care routine and having an unhealthy diet), are ones that I can control, I'm pretty confident I can get my skin, and myself, back in shape.  My recent order from Garden of Wisdom seems to be improving my skin already.

Wow, I've really missed getting getting stuff in the mail!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Skinfood concealers reviewed: Salmon Dark Circle Concealer Cream and Rice Concealer Tip

As much as I love mineral makeup, one thing it doesn't do for me is cover up my dark undereye circles.  The skin on my undereyes is also too dry for it, so I much prefer liquid or creamy concealers.  Enter my curiosity with Singaporean brand Skinfood.  I just had to check out these two concealers, which looked promising- the Salmon Dark Circle Concealer Cream and the Rice Concealer Tip.  Both come in only two shades, and I got the darker one for both.

Salmon Dark Circle Concealer Cream #23

As seen above, the Salmon Dark Circle Concealer Cream is packaged in a jar.  Mine probably tipped over to the side during transit and sorta melted which is why it looks like that.  It has a slight floral scent, which I don't  find bothersome.  It has a creamy consistency, which feels nice and moisturizing, but doesn't feel sticky.  Easy to spread too.  

The salmon undertone to it is a different shade from any other concealers I've tried, so I had high hopes that this would neutralize my purplish-greyish dark circles well.  I'd also read a number of raves for the product from fellow Asian bloggers.  It does deliver, but not as much as I'd hoped.  On days when I get a good night's sleep and my dark circles aren't as bad as they usually are, this works pretty good.  The shade does brighten up my eyes and gives a more refreshed, awake look to them.         

However, on the days that I really need my concealer to work on the dark circles I find so problematic, is when I don't reach for this.  I find that it does not provide enough coverage.  I only need a small amount, which I apply with my ring finger, and if I put on just a bit too much product,  I get that dreaded whitish/greyish cast or the reverse raccoon look.  Perhaps I needed something a bit's really too bad (and kinda ridiculous) that Skinfood's concealers only come in two shades.  

So, if you're looking to simply brighten up your undereye area or only have slight shadows under your eyes, do try this as it should work nicely.  But if you've got pretty extreme dark circles, like I do, I say skip this. 

Rice Concealer Tip #23

I bring my Rice Concealer Tip so often in my makeup pouch that the writing on it has rubbed off, hehe.  I use a clean finger to get a small amount of product off the sponge tip applicator and apply little by little underneath my eyes.  This has a mild scent to it too, which wears off after a while anyway.

The finish of this concealer is different from the Salmon concealer's.  It's liquid, not creamy, and has a matte, powder finish.  I was afraid that the matte texture would emphasize any dryness in my skin, but by making sure my undereyes are moisturized enough, as well as by using a primer (I currently use Sisley Instant Perfect), I was able to prevent that.  This dries relatively fast, so I have to try to blend it quickly.  Also, if I apply too much of it at once, it cakes.  Better to use just a smudge for each layer.  

I use this a lot because it gives great coverage.  If you check out the swatches below, you'll see that it is not sheer at all, so it does a good job of covering up my dark circles.  I wouldn't say it's HG material though, because it does fade about halfway through the day, and it doesn't completely, like 100% (yeah I have high expectations XD), cover the dark rings around my eyes.  But I do like it enough that I've finished up more than half of it.  And it's quite cheap! 

For a good, cheap fix for dark circles, yup, I'd recommend this!  I'm sure I'll be able to use up the entire tube, but I don't think I'll repurchase.  I'd rather try some other concealers  I've been curious about. :)   

Here are the swatches:

Under natural light, with flash.  Left - Salmon Dark Circle Concealer, Right - Rice Concealer Tip.

Under fluorescent light, with flash, same order.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Garden Of Wisdom GoAway Circles Eye Serum and Eye Majik Cream review

My undereye area suffers from both dark circles and premature wrinkles, so what I look for in eye care products are deep healing properties, that are not only preventative, but will hopefully promote noticeable improvement on the skin on my eye area.

*Photo taken from the GoW website

Most of my skin care items are purchased from Garden Of Wisdom, and naturally I had to try their eye care products.  So far I've tried two: the GoAway Circles Eye Serum, and Eye Majik Cream, which I used separately.

GoAway Circles Eye Serum

This serum is liquid, non-sticky, and is easily absorbed by my skin. It is unscented, and is very mild- didn't cause any stinging sensation or any irritation.  It also kept my skin quite moisturized.  I only needed a tiny dab for each eye, so the sample size lasted more than 6 months of use.  Actually I still have about half of it left in the fridge.  After those 6 months of application though, I did not notice any improvement in my dark circles or fine lines, so I stopped using it.

It probably works fine for other people, just not for me.  It's been mentioned in the Garden Of Wisdom forum that this product won't work on hereditary dark circles.  I don't think mine are, but overall this product still did nothing for me, and I was glad for the sample size.

Eye Majik Cream

I chose the waxless version of the Eye Majik Cream, since I'm prone to getting milia.  This is a very light cream that doesn't leave my skin shiny and can easily be worn underneath concealer.  I thought it was cool how I felt a firming, sort of tightening sensation on my skin every time I applied this.  It felt like my undereye area was being lifted and maybe looked more renewed.  

It did feel at times though like my skin wasn't getting enough moisturization from this product.  I finished the entire sample, which lasted me more than 3 months of daily application.  It also did zero for my dark circles.  I do think there was a bit of improvement on the fine lines and this helped a lot with any occasional puffiness, but since I need something which provides more moisturization (my undereye area can get pretty dry, but is prone to developing milia from super heavy creams, what a frustrating combination), I didn't repurchase.  

I still very much like Garden Of Wisdom's other products, and will be trying their Cellular Eye Complex next.  Also, I hope to post my skin care routine once my skin gets back on track. :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

A nice way to start the week... by receiving and passing on a Beautiful Blogger Award! It's been a while since I got one of these.

Always a delight to receive one, even more so when it's unexpected. This is from Cathy, who shares my addiction to mineral cosmetics and creates beautiful, flawless looks with it! Thank you :)

I am passing on the award to these ladies, who might have received this before, but whom I'd like to say thank you to as well, just because.:

And here are seven random things about me:

1. I have three dogs- a lovable big yellow labrador, a cute shitzhu, and a hyperactive cocker spaniel- whom I love and seemed to have sparked my little daughter's liking for pets.
2. I didn't start putting moisturizer on my face or have an actual skincare routine 'til I was already 18 or 19!
3. My current exercise consists of an uphill walk with my little girl to the playground every other day.
4. My newest fave blog is (not beauty-related).
5. The last book I read was The Kite Runner.  Good lord, I cried so much while reading it!
6. I really enjoyed the new Glee episode where they sang all-madonna.
7. I would like one day to live outside Manila.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

By Nature Handmade Soap in Olive Beauty

By Nature Handmade Soaps has soooo many scents and different types of soaps, and I've tried a bunch of them, but I've finally found my favorite- Olive Beauty!  Oh, how my dry skin loves this simple, mild, skin-softening soap.

The soap ingredients contain a lot of oils:  Olive Oil, Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Pure Essential Oils, Grapeseed Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Vitamin E, Plant Extracts, Fruit Extracts.

The high oil content is probably what makes it best for dry skin.  And they are right to recommend this for those with sensitive skin as well.  It is so gentle that it has never aggravated my eczema. My baby girl uses this daily, and her skin loves it too!  We both used to use their Baby Blue soap, which is also nice- mild and helps calm and dry out skin irritations, but I find Olive Beauty more moisturizing.

I find that it really does help retain moisture in the skin, yet does not leave a sticky film behind, just softer skin.  Completely unscented, and smooth, with no exfoliating grains or ingredients.  I also like that I can use it on my acne-prone back and not get any breakouts, just the same skin-softening effect I get all over.

One thing I dislike about it is it seems to melt much faster than all the other variants, so we run out of this kinda fast.  Best to store it in a soap dish that doesn't retain any water at all, and away from the shower.

Got my last order through fellow blogger Dianne's shop, Organic Hub.  She's the perfect seller for impatient types like me.  I received replies to each email, like, minutes, after sending them.  She also nicely included a free sample of Sweet Sampaguita, which smelled just lovely, though not much like the Sampaguita flowers which remind me of church.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Etude House Dr. Mascara Fixer For Natural Lash

I love it when people look at my eyes and after a moment ask, "Do you have makeup on?".  Hehe!  I don't always put makeup on when I go out these days, but when I'm in the mood to do a full face, I love putting a subtle emphasis on the eyes, which for me means a bit of eyeshadow, and lush, curled lashes.  

Falsies aren't for me, I still don't know how to put them on properly.  But with a good eyelash curler, mascara, and a mascara base like Etude House's Dr. Mascara Fixer For Natural Lash, I can achieve pretty, flirty, yet natural-looking lashes.

Etude House Dr. Mascara Fixer For Natural Lash can be worn both before and after mascara.  The 'Natural Lash' variant is supposedly for separating and lengthening lashes.  Cost me only around P300 or less than $6 at the nearby Etude House branch.

The applicator is easy to use and is just the right size for my lashes.  You can see a little bit of the product here, which is a clear and non-sticky gel.

I really don't like spidery, clumpy lashes and this mascara base helps prevent that, which is what I mainly use it for.  I find that applying this beforehand makes mascara application a lot easier- no more ugly clumps of mascara! I don't see much lengthening effect, but the gel does seem to help comb through lashes and separate them.  So I still get tinted, volumized lashes from my mascara without the heavy, clumpy look.

One coat is enough for each time, and I have to take care to put on mascara right away after using this, otherwise I end up with clumpy lashes again because the Mascara Fixer dries relatively quickly.  So what I do is curl both lashes first with my Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, apply Dr. Mascara Fixer on one eye and immediately put on mascara, comb my lashes, then do the other eye.

The only thing I didn't like about this is that it had such a strong chemical scent when I first tried it that it made my eyes water.  But that didn't happen again with any succeeding applications and the smell seems to have faded now.  Overall, I consider this a pretty good, cheap find, and would buy the other variant (Perfect Lash) once I run out.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Great stuff from Humanhearnature and Messy Bessy

Lately all I seem to feel is tired. Fatigued, almost. :( I'm not sure why since I don't do a lot of anything that's particularly exhausting. A trip to the doctor is in order, but the weekend did perk me up a bit, as well as receiving my natural and organic goodies from The Good Earth.

I had to get more of my favorite Humanheartnature Hand Sanitizers. The Mandarin scent is for me, while the Watermelon scent is for hubby. I love these as they don't dry out my hands and they smell great. We've tried all 4 variants at this point- Mandarin, Watermelon, Strawberry, and Pineapple.

Pineapple remains my all-time fave. For me it's just sweet enough, and refreshing! I also like Mandarin, which reminds me a bit of orange peels but doesn't smell overly citrusy, and has the faintest scent of all variants. My hubby likes Watermelon best. This one does smell like watermelon, but after a while to me it starts smelling like those tree-shaped car fresheners. We both find Strawberry too sweet (scent reminds me of Strawberry Kool Aid), and that it turns sour as it dries.

I applied my new Humanheartnature's Hand & Body Lotion in Mango all over my body, and gosh, afterwards I smelled like one big yummy mango milkshake. Haha. Really nothing overpowering, just pleasant. I love tropical scents like these when the weather starts getting even hotter. The smell fades after about 5 minutes but I don't mind.

Not moisturizing enough for me as a body lotion though, since I have very dry skin, but probably good for gals with normal skin. I use it often as a hand lotion. My hands smell so good using this and the hand sanitizers.

I'm all about taking care of my poor hands, which I wash numerous times during the day (stay-at-home-mom to a one-year-old here!), so I replaced my old drugstore liquid hand soap with Messy Bessy's Aloe & Green Tea Hand Wash.

Messy Bessy is a Philippine brand which I find pretty interesting and would love to try more of. They sell a range of all-natural and biodegradable household products that are made of minimal ingredients. Plus the products are so inexpensive! The Hand Wash, for example, cost only P160 for a 390ml bottle. It has a mild green tea scent and doesn't leave my hands dry or aggravate my eczema, which is the main reason I ditched my old drugstore liquid soap.

To keep our bathroom smelling decent, I also ordered Messy Bessy's Diaper Bin Odor Absorber. Notice how simple the ingredients are: only baking soda and tea tree essential oil. And they're actually effective. :) One pack consists of 3 tea bag-like packets, each of which can be used for up to 3 months. Love that they cost only P120.

I've also used up a bottle of their Handy Nanny, a food-safe, organic disinfectant suitable for cleaning baby's toys or surroundings with. This is a cool product because it is so mild and safe, but really cleans. It looks like water but feels a bit stickier, and is perfect for moms who travel a lot with their babies.

If you'd be interested in trying out any of these, I highly recommend ordering from Tet of The Good Earth! She replies promptly to any queries and our transaction was so easy and efficient.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Always the insomniac

I felt like answering this weekly poll that I've been seeing on a number of blogs. I'm tired, but can never seem to fall asleep easily! Sigh.

1. How has your week been so far? Unexpectedly busy and tiring, especially last night and yesterday when my daughter kept a high fever. :(

2. What's your favorite mindless distraction? Oh this is easy. Scramble 2 on the iphone.

3. What's on the nails? Nothing. Wish I could put on some polish but the eczema on my right finger has been acting up.

4. Have you ever seen a UFO? No. I think I'd like to, though.

5. Do you eat seafood? Yup, pretty often.

6. Ever taken a photography class? No, but I did win 2 competitions for photojournalism. Hehe. I'd love to formally study photography.

7. What was your least favorite subject in school? Math. Always sucked at it. Oh, and Public Speaking courses. Hated those.

8. What was your favorite subject in school? English, Art, and Writing-related courses.

9. Do you wear scarves? No because it's hot here all the time.

10. Have you ever used LUSH Lemony Flutter? Was it good? Haven't tried it.

A peaceful Lenten season to everyone :)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Etude House Good-Bye Dark Circle Eye Patch Review

One of the first things I tried from my Etude House haul. Costs less than P100. This contains one pair of 'Eye Patches' for single use. Here's what you'll see when you open the packaging:

The white strips are not the actual eye patches, but the covering which keeps the product's moisture. Sorta look like nose strips right? The eye patches themselves are not white but transparent, have a jelly-like texture, and were a bit slippery. I failed to get photos 'cause I wanted to try them immediately, hehe.

I made a few attempts to position them correctly on my undereyes- I wanted to make sure all areas with dark circles were covered. At first they felt a bit awkward, like they were poking my eyes alittle, but after about a few minutes they felt comfortable on. These were to be left on for 15 minutes.

I don't think anyone would expect dramatic changes after one use of this product. My expectations were pretty low, actually. I purchased this for fun, thinking it was kind of a gimmicky product. Plus I have very, very dark circles.

But I got a pleasant surprise. I tried this after getting less sleep than usual the night before, and these felt quite refreshing and cooling to my tired eyes. Really nice to have on during a hot day, and while staring at a computer screen typing and doing research.

When I removed them 15 minutes later, my eyes looked and felt much more awake. I think these'd be handy if you had a particularly tiring or sleepless night and wanted to fake a more rested look the following morning. I also think using this before makeup would make the process of concealing dark circles relatively easier. I'll definitely buy it again and would like to try Etude House's Collagen Eye Patch as well. :)

On a side note, gosh, I can't believe my last post was more than a week ago. I'd planned to post regularly to my humble blog, but no. I'm trying to be a work-at-home mom, but sadly it just doesn't seem to be working out. Been busy with little projects here and there, including a new blog far related from makeup/beauty/shopping, but of a subject that secretly intrigues and interests me as well. :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Aromaleigh Lip Product Discontinuation Haul

A couple of weeks ago Aromaleigh announced that they were discontinuing all their lip products and I just had to get myself more of their lip balm, which I love. I also grabbed some of their other lip products to try, before they're gone forever.

Keeping these balms in the fridge to elongate shelf life- Just The Balm Ma'am (plain and unscented), Cremesicle Delight (sweet orange oil blended with vanilla bourbon), Gingersnap (gingery sweet with hints of vanilla), and French Cocoa Bliss (delectable french cocoa- cool, it's brown!).

I just love how they feel so creamy, and are scented delicately, and how they soften my lips. Currently I'm using Pink Grapefruit Parfait, which smells like sweet creamy vanilla mixed with grapefruit. I also like Delicate Vanilla Bean. I sure will miss these when I finish them, but it'll be fun trying other balms too.

I'd only previously tried two of their other lip colors- a Botanical Lipstick in Crush, and Nourishing Color Creme in Candy Cane, which I got during the holidays. I was curious about the Gothic Lolita lippies as well as the Rocks! lippies, so I got two of each to try.

Left to right: Cakewalk, Wallflower, Headoverheels, Notorious, Gossamer, Rosebud.

Swatched in the same order. This one was taken with flash.

Still in the same order. Taken with no flash.

I swatched Candy Cane and Crush as well. That small brown spot is my mole, not the Candy Cane lippie which doesn't really show any touch of nude pink on me, just the pretty iridescence which you can see below.

The lip products are sheer, as you can see in the swatches, but the color can be built up with more swipes. I like them for everyday wear, and my favorite I think is Headoverheels. They're the type of lippies that I can apply in the dark, in a moving car (that's usually where I put my lip color on), and not end up looking like a clown.

Some of the products are still in stock, and I do wish I could get more. AL is on vacation 'til April 5th though.

Oh my gosh, while I was typing this my mother and my sister texted me that they felt an earthquake, and had to be evacuated out of their office and school buildings! I was relieved to hear no one was hurt. No earthquake here in our area, thank goodness. I would've been terrified.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Leyende Place in the Sun Sunblock

Since Christmas, I've been using Leyende Place in the Sun Sunblock as my daily facial sunblock. It meets a lot of my sunblock requirements- lightweight, gentle, all-natural, affordable, easily available.

This has spf 30 and contains the following ingredients:

deionized aqua, infusion of rosemary and calendula (marigold), organic shea butter, organic sweet almond oil, virgin coconut oil, tinosorb, vit. E, vit. C, vit. B3, organic calendula & aloe extract, grapeseed extract.

My favorite thing about this product is that it doesn't break me out (not in the least), and does not cause any sort of my irritation on my ultra-sensitive skin. That's really what I'm most afraid of when trying out a new sunblock. This has a barely noticeable, mild floral scent, which is good, because I prefer my skincare products unscented.

Because it's very humid and hot here, I always look for a facial sunblock that isn't thick or sticky, otherwise I'd be sweating buckets. Place in the Sun does fit the bill, mostly, although sometimes, on exceptionally sweltering hot days, I find my skin still a bit damp a few minutes after application, but I easily remedy this by lightly patting my skin with a towel before putting on makeup.

Leyende is a local brand, so I can either go to a store to buy this, or order online and receive my order in a day or two. It costs P400 for a 50ml tube which lasts a relatively long time since the product spreads easily and I only need a dab each time. I've been using mine for about 3 months now and I still have a lot of product left.

I've been using Leyende's products for some time now and my favorite items of theirs are this and their Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Body Scrub (this smells goooood). I hope Leyende also comes out soon with sunblock meant for use on the whole body. :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

From my first visit to Etude House

So...everything at Etude House to me is like candy. It's either pink or some other bright color, it smells good, and it's just so cute. Etude House is a Korean brand which recently opened branches here in Manila though I'd never been until now 'cause the store was too far from our place. Just yesterday though a new branch opened nearby, so I went of course and got some things.

Left to right: sample of Precious Mineral BB Cream (gift with purchase), Plumping Lip Tint in red, Peach Water Gloss in Apricot, Auto Lipliner in a brown shade, Dr. Mascara Fixer for Natural Lash, Blackhead Off Finger Tip Silicon, and Good-bye Dark Circle Eye Patch.

I've only tried the Blackhead Off Finger Tip Silicon (the orange object on the right) and the Dr. Mascara Fixer so far. There are two of the Finger Tip Silicons, to be placed on each forefinger then rubbed on the nose, or any other areas with blackheads.

Its short, tiny bristles felt soft when I used it last night when I was washing my face, and afterward my bumpy nose felt smooth and soft. But when I woke up this morning it was dry and flaking. Did I rub too hard? Etude House has this small range of products specifically for getting rid of blackheads, I want to try those soon.

I want to test the Dr. Mascara Fixer for natural lash a couple of times more before I post a review. This can be used as both a mascara primer and topcoat. I saw two variants of this at the store by the way, one said 'for Perfect Lash', while the other said 'for Natural Lash'. I asked the sales assistant what the difference was, but she didn't know, so I just picked one. Anyway I found out later upon reading a beauty blog that Perfect Lash volumizes and curls lashes, while Natural Lash separates and lengthens. I dunno, why would I wanna separate my lashes? Kinda wish I'd gotten the other one. It seems to work well enough though!

They had a bunch more stuff I was intrigued by...and some not. There were fragrances that were packaged like dolls, which looked pretty, but none of the scents appealed to me at all. They had a bunch of body sprays too which all smelled pretty much the same and much like drugstore kids' colognes.

I'm definitely coming back though so I got myself a membership card, which will give me very small rebates in the future- 2% for every P100 purchase. Haha. Expect reviews on the other items soon.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Human Heart Nature Sunflower Beauty Oil - sorta review

I've been using this product on my undereyes consecutively for over a month now, applied once or twice every day. I have really dark undereye circles and have fine lines, and this was cheap, locally-made by a reputable company, and is all-natural, so why not try it?

Oh, I was expecting it to help a little bit with the dark circles, but I should've read the product description more thoroughly- it's for wrinkle prevention and a protectant, not for easing dark circles.

Here's my Human Heart Nature Sunflower Beauty Oil fresh from the fridge, where I keep most of my skincare products.

Radiant, soft skin touched by the sun! Sunflower seed oil is packed with vitamins A, D & E to fight wrinkles and naturally protect skin from infections and irritants. Best applied to the sensitive under-eye area.

I like how it's absorbed by the skin around my eyes easily, and how it constantly keeps that area moisturized. A tiny dab is enough to cover both eye areas, and after a few minutes, I no longer see the oil on the skin, so that area doesn't end up shiny or feeling sweaty or sticky when I go out after applying this.

I use this product on my neck too, and some reviewers on the Human Heart Nature website mention using a small amount on their hair as well. I do not detect any scent to the oil nor did I develop any skin irritations from it. I haven't tried applying this on my entire face (and don't plan to).

I didn't notice if I got any new wrinkles or not, but there was definitely no change, good or bad, in my dark circles or amount/condition of existing fine lines. I'm now using this alternately and sometimes combined with Grapeseed oil. It's nice if all you need is a moisturizer for the eye area. This is way cheap at P99.75 (less than $2) for 50ml. Available at the HHN website.
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