Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I've moved my blog :)

I've moved my blog to I'll be posting there regularly- please do check it out! :)  I will no longer be updating  Hope to see you at my new site!

Friday, January 21, 2011

I have a new site, and a conclusion to my natural skin care routine!

Hi!  Here I am popping up after 8 (wow!) months of not posting.   Thank you to those who followed and read my humble site, even though there weren't any new blogs.  I honestly just didn't feel like blogging and I didn't want to force it.  I didn't want it to feel like a job because I blog for fun.  Recently though, I felt a strong urge to write again, to share again.  I missed blogging very much all of a sudden.  I never stopped reading the blogs that I follow, and wanted to write some new posts of my own.

I have a new blog called The Golden Sampaguita, which will be about, but won't be limited to, a budding love for perfume, and of course, beauty-related things...just pretty much whatever goes. If you want to check it out, it's over at  I got a slightly shorter domain name for it that should be fully functional 3 days from now, and which I've disabled in the meantime-  If you give the new blog a follow...I sure would appreciate it.

Like my current skincare routine, the new site will feature products that are natural and organic, as well as mineral makeup, but unlike this blog, won't be limited to those kinds of products only.  I also wanted to conclude what I now consider a 2-year experiment using only natural and organic facial skincare products.

The following part below is all about that experiment.  Warning:  it's kinda long!

Basically I became very acne-prone during pregnancy more than 2 years ago, and began using only natural and organic skincare items for my face.  I continued this for nearly 2 years after giving birth, during which I breastfed my child the entire time.  My skin is acne-prone, has always been dry, and sensitive.

The reason I turned to natural and organic skin care is my daughter.  Call me silly, paranoid, stupid for seemingly just following a trend, but I wanted to be cautious and safe, and saw no sacrifice in swapping my department store-bought skincare items for ones made of natural ingredients, so long as I didn't pass on any harmful or unnecessary chemicals to my kid.  Please note that I do not assume that all natural products are okay for pregnant/nursing women to use.  It's easy to check the ingredients list and do some research on any that I doubt.

It was also part of the great change I wanted to incorporate in my lifestyle after I got pregnant.  I wanted to be a better person.  I wanted to be a better person for my kid.  I wanted to eat healthier, be kinder to the environment, live healthier.

So here's what I found.  The reason why I stopped using my natural and organic products is not because they made my acne worse- it's because I find that they deliver inconsistent results.  What would happen was my face would become clearer and better within the first few months that I adapted the routine, then it would break out again.  So I'd replace one or two items in my routine and the same thing would happen again-  better for a few months, then breakouts.  My skin just didn't seem to become continuously clear, or feel balanced for long periods of time.

I'd like to add, though, that my acne was never at any point hopelessly, horribly bad.  It's probably moderate.  It was just frustrating that it wouldn't go away, and that my skin wouldn't come close to how it was pre-pregnancy, which was: clear and easily cured of zits.

I think what inflamed my acne at times might have been some of the natural products going bad, although I always kept them in the fridge and took note of the shelf life.  A lot of the items were ordered internationally and the 1-2 week transit into my country's very hot climate might have affected the performance and longevity of the products.  There's also a chance that contact with my hands, however clean I tried to keep them, and the environment, had contaminated the products.

My simple tip for using natural skin care products is to get them from a local, reputable source, to ensure that you receive them fresh.  Then, store them in the fridge.  And then, basically, it's research, and trial and error.  And if it doesn't work for you or if the product looks like it's gone off, even if it's only a month old, chuck it.

I do think that natural skin care is wonderful for sensitive skin.  All the natural products geared towards sensitive skin were milder and gentler than any other thing I'd tried including Cetaphil.  They did not make me itch or produce rashes, as is usually the case when I try anything new.  I find that they're great for dry skin too, since some oils and creams solved the dryness I always had.

It had occurred to me to consult a dermatologist, but I stubbornly wanted to stick to the routine I wanted.  I stopped nursing my child at the end of September 2010, and right after the holidays, I bought some drugstore and department store items, to use with a newly bought facial cleanser and still full tub of eye cream from Leyende, with the goal of having a pretty much basic skin care routine.  My skin hasn't done a 360 but it is improving.

For now I'm trying a very simple routine and will see how it goes.

Feel free to ask questions if you have any. :)

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.

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