Review: The Body Shop’s Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter

I love the idea of cleansing balms. If you haven’t heard of them or seen them around much, then you’re probably from a country with a warmer climate, like me. Cleansing balms are essentially oil-based cleansers that remain solid at room temperature. Fellow Pinays, think cold-pressed extra-virgin coconut oil when placed in the refrigerator. It transforms into a translucent white solid, right? Well apparently, EVCO looks like that 90% of the time abroad. Lol. “Room temperature” differs depending on where you live, and that explains why cleansing balms don’t sit on Philippine retail shelves. They just melt away. 

But it can be done — cleansing balms can exist in their solid form in this weather without totally liquefying. I first saw it in the Veriikos Deep Cleansing Oil Balm that I got in a BNT box a few months back. Verikos is of course an Asian brand and they definitely took our weather into consideration when formulating it and it worked perfectly (I used that cleansing balm down the the very last and loved every bit of it. I wish it were more easily available). This Body Shop cleansing balm is only the second I’ve come across locally (please inform me if there are others) because Clinique does not carry their Take the Day Off Balm locally. Boo. So anyway, let’s have a look at this tin of balmy goodness which, according to THE Caroline Hirons, is a dupe for Clinique TTDO: TBC1The Body Shop’s Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter (price to be updated) is primarily a makeup remover and cleanser, but it is also meant to soothe and treat sensitive skin. That’s what the camomile is in there for, and I have to say that that’s my favourite thing about this product — it really does seem to soothe the skin as the residue sits on your face. It’s sumptuous, as its name suggests. The residue it leaves, however, makes this something I definitely cannot use daily because of my combo-oily skin type.TBC3If you’ve never used a cleansing balm before, the photo above pretty much says all you need to know.


Lipsticks Lately

There are four lipsticks that I pretty much use all-year round. They’re the MLBB shades that I can’t live without, but I definitely do wear shades according to the seasons as well. And while we may have only two seasons in the Philippines (summer and rainy season), the Western idea of seasonal beauty kind of translates to this part of the world as well. That said, here are my “Fall” picks for lipstick:

The Dior Addict Fluid Lipstick formula is a dream combo of pigment and just the right amount of shine. I owe you guys a full review of this product, but the shade Trompe L’Oleildeserves a moment in the spotlight for this season. It comes off more like a bright plum on my lips than it looks in the tube, but it’s not too bright.

On the far right of the collage is the Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Mink, which is a beautiful minky brown (duh) with a crime finish. This is my nude pick for the season. Worn alone it is soooo 90s, which I am totally feeling lately. I wear it both alone and with a clear gloss over top to make it even more 90s.

Another thing i do with Mink, as I mentioned on my Instagram page a few days ago, is layer it with MAC’s Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Good to be Bad. It makes for the perfect muted burgundy shade that I just cannot get over. Thank goodness both of the shades are permanent.

Finally there’s the Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Wine, which you have seen on the blog before, but not on my lips. I wear this one the least often of the four because it’s not the best formula. It is, however, kinda nice and grungy looking. It’s also the closest to a red that I will wear during the Fall.

Fall beauty trends are definitely my fave. I literally wait for time of year when wearing a vampy lip is appropriate again. Of course, you can wear whatever you want whenever you want when it comes to makeup, but you can’t deny that bright pinks and corals look better on tanned skin, while deeper lippies suit paler skin very nicely.

Do you guys go along with seasonal makeup trends? :) What are your fave “fall colours?” :)

Right Up My Alley: Happy Skin’s Honeymoon Glow

HSna1Happy Skin recently released some new additions to their permanent line up and I may have been a little too excited to get my hands on some of it. Seriously, they know how to make a girl want something. I picked these up the day after they hit the Rockwell Beauty Bar branch, I think. “These” are the new Zit Zapper Second Skin Cream Foundation (1,299.00 Php) and one of three new permanent Shut Up & Kiss Me Lippies: Honeymoon Glow (499.00 Php).

I’ll give myself a while longer to get to know the ZZ Cream because it is a base product, but for now I can show you the beauty that is Honeymoon Glow: (more…)

Brand & Product Reveal: PIXY Cosmetics

PIXIe1Around the beginning of August, I got to attend the official launch of the Japanese brand, PIXY cosmetics. This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered PIXY though. If you remember my April BDJ Box, then you’ll have seen some of their products already. What surprised me most about PIXY back then was the price range–everything is very affordable (still is, obviously). This time around I got to know more about the brand and the products from Mandom Corporation’s (distributor company) CEO and Xeng Zulueta, one of the bigger names in the local makeup industry. PIXY 6AUG14 PRODUCT LAUNCHCEO Hiroyuki Mitsuoka in the grey suit and Xeng Zulueta in the leopard-print scarf. Also in the photo are the marketing heads, product planning specialist, and the two demo models. PIXY really set out to say “we have arrived!” with this event, and it’s always nice to see brand heads being hands-on.

PIXIe3While I did not get to stay for lunch, I did catch the makeup demonstration. I learned several new things from Xeng, but the most important thing I picked up was how to use a two-way cake foundation. I had always been confused as to what that actually meant… turns out that two-way foundations can be used in, well, two ways: wet and dry. For heavier coverage, you’re ment to dampen a sponge and use that to apply the foundation to the face OR you can mist water onto the skin before you swipe on the foundation using a brush. Xeng employed the latter technique for the demo and the results were beautiful. She used the PIXY UV Whitening Two Way Cake Perfect fit. PIXIe4I also learned that the thickest skin on your face is your cheek area. I always thought it was the T-zone! So while you can afford to build up coverage on the cheeks, leaving the foundation on the rest of the face as light as possible is key for creating a more natural look. To complete the look, Xeng used a light wash of eyeshadow, tons of mascara, and a matte PIXY lipstick smudged into the lips. To touch-up throughout the day, use the foundation dry so it can sop up excess oil. PIXIe2The adorable bucket of goodies that I got to take home that day! :) Photo from my instagram account.

PIXIe5I’ve been getting to know the products over the past couple of weeks and I’ll be giving a separate overview of them, but I can tell you now that the lipsticks and the foundations are items to look out for. You can find PIXY at Watsons branches nationwide. For more information, check out the PIXY Facebook page. :)

Thanks for having me, PIXY team!

Gimme, gimme! NARS Audacious Lipsticks

To celebrate their 20th anniversary, NARS is launching a new line of lipsticks. The Audacious Lipsticks (for lips so shamelessly seductive in touch and texture, the the sensation is absolutely audacious!) will come in 40 (!) shades of mind-blowing perfection. These aren’t available yet, but if you know NARS, you know that the one thing they do absolutely perfectly is lipstick.
NARS1All of these photos are from Temptalia. I really do wonder how she finds the time to photograph, swatch, and review every single product she receives… it’s a problem I’d be happy to have, tbh! Haha. The reviews of these babies aren’t complete yet, but thus far I don’t think she’s graded a single shade lower than an ANARS3Now I have a very love-hate kind of relationship with NARS. From reading reviews, nearly everyone out there does. If you want to play it safe, do stick to the lipsticks and blushes. Eyeshadow, liner, and nail products are hit-and-miss. As for their complexion products, I just don’t think it’s meant to be between me and NARS. That’s a story for another post though.

NARS2As you’re reading, I hope you’re enjoying these photos as much as I am. I mean, wow. 40 shades and each of them looks incredibly well thought out. I am also loving the shape of the lipstick bullet itself; the one flattened face with “NARS” carved into it is going to make it almost as difficult to start using the product as it is to refrain from using the product. What a beautiful conflict. 
NARS4Packaging on these also looks promising–they don’t look to be in the rubberized crap that NARS usually puts out! I could be wrong, but let’s cross our fingers for it. Hehe. Anyway, these will be out some time in September (hopefully deliveries to our local counters won’t be too delayed). Check out Temptalia’s sneak peek posts (here and here) to see some lip swatches, and keep checking her page for the full reviews.

Here are my personal picks from the line (again, all photos from Temptalia):

AudaciousPicks.Liv and Vivien are probably my top two picks, but these all look pretty damn awesome to me!

Which shades do you guys have your eyes on? :)


VMV Hypoallergenics: ARMADA Face Cover 45 & Post Procedure Barrier Cream 50+

VMV1VMV Hypoallergenics offers a pretty wide range of options when it comes to sun protection, but the one I like for day-to-day use is the ARMADA Face Cover 45 (1,715.00 Php). VMV recommends it for those who spend most of their time indoors and also for those who like to wear makeup, as it has a mattifying, primer-like effect. It’s lightweight and not sticky at all, plus it makes a pretty good base for when I wear mineral powder foundation (and that’s pretty much every day). I take sun protection very seriously, so when I say I use this stuff daily, I mean it. Can’t imagine life without it.

I also love ARMADA Sport 70 (2,350.00 Php) but that is really only necessary for when I’m at the beach or in some other extreme outdoor situation. So one day I had the sudden urge to buy something between the 45 and 70 SPFs. The only options are the ARMADA Face and Body Shield 60 (1,885.00 Php) and the ARMADA Post-Procedure Barrier Cream ( 1,325.00 Php). I went for the latter, as you can see in the photo above.

Although they differ by only 5 “protection factor points” (lol please clue me in on the correct way to express that if you are aware!), Face Cover 45 and the Post-Procedure Barrier Cream differ quite a bit. I should have known based on the names, but here’s a little comparative post for your benefit anyway:

VMV2Post-Procedure Barrier Cream on the right and Face Cover 45 on the left.

The Post-Procedure Barrier Cream is actually a pure physical sunscreen, which means that it blocks out any harmful rays using its physical composition. No chemical sunscreen (but pleas note that chemical sunscreens are not “bad” per se) means that this is a THICK and powerful sunscreen that makes for ideal protection for the delicate skin of infants and hypersensitive skins. It also contains coconut-derived Monolaurin for antibacterial disinfection and antioxidant green tea. This is really best for use after a procedure (duh) like a peel or laser treatment that leaves your skin extra sensitive to sun exposure. Not for day-to-day use for sure.

Face Cover 45 is a medium-weight cream and unlike the Post Procedure Barrier Cream, it blends into skin and sits comfortably. As I said, it leaves a nice matte finish, so it’s great for use under makeup or even alone, if you’re a low maintenance kind of girl. An SPF of 45 suits my lifestyle because I do walk in the sun at least once a day and I am always under some harsh fluorescent lights in school (VMV sunscreens protect against the full spectrum of harmful light: indoor and outdoor UVA, UVB, Infrared and Visible Light).

VMV3Obviously-opaque versus blendable and creamy.

There are both great sunscreens, but don’t make the same mistake I did in assuming the the Post Procedure Barrier Cream is actually wearable on a daily basis. Hehe. You can also check out ARMADA Face Cover 30 if you are barely ever in the sun (it isn’t mattifying though) and the ARMADA Face and Body Shield 60, which is what I probably should have picked out instead of the Post Procedure Barrier Cream. 

If you’re in the market for a nice sunscreen for daily use, I can’t stress enough how awesome Face Cover 45 is. If you don’t yet use sun protection on a daily basis, let me tell you– your future self will thank you for making the commitment right now.

Check out VMV Hypoallergenics’ website and Facebook page for more info!

The Definition of Pretty: Ellana’s Mesmer-eyes Eyeshadow Quad

I know nobody asked, but my biggest fear in life is coming off stupid — worse, actually being stupid. I never was the brightest kid/teen/ human being in any bunch… in large part because I never exerted enough effort. So what’s a lazy idiot like myself doing in graduate school (law school at that)? Sometimes I don’t even know. Other times I think I’m just trying to prove a point to myself. And when I’m actually thinking clearly I remind myself that I made the decision to become a lawyer with a bigger picture in mind; the cheesy picture of a future where I help others and make a difference in the world. It’s cliché, I know. Cheesy, indeed. But then it’s clear and I have something to hold on to. Something to make a big fear look small — silly, even. And hard work coupled with focus? That makes fear vanish all together. Hard work is half the battle, folks. Don’t you forget it.

So how does one segue from that into a makeup review? I’m not quite sure, so here I am calling attention to the fact before I proceed anyway…

EME1There are some products that I can hardly wait to review for you guys because I already know it’s going to be love even before I’ve tested them out. The Ellana Mesmer-eyes Eyeshadow Quad (400.00 php)* is one of those products. Of course writing about it without testing it wouldn’t be very responsible of me, and it wouldn’t even technically be a “review,” so I wore this baby out nearly every day for one week and at least four times in the week after that. Now I can definitively tell you that I was a poo-poo head for waiting so long to buy this quad. The one good thing that came out of the delay is that I have the product in Ellana’s new packaging, which you are now feasting your eyes on.

To continue the feast and to learn more about the shades in this quad, click through!


Skincare Additions: Kiehl’s & Juice Beauty

NewSkin1Meet the most recent additions to my skincare regimen: the Khiel’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado (approx. 1,300.00 Php)  and the Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum (1,675.00 Php at Beauty Bar). These are both what I used to consider non-necessities in skincare. Eye creams and serums were just glorified moisturizers in my mind. At most they were things that only aging/mature women would find useful. But views change and so do the skin’s needs–sometimes much earlier than we anticipate.

Ever since my skin turned combo-oily and I consulted a dermatologist, I haven’t used any moisturizer on a daily basis. I only pick up some Physiogel AI Cream when dry patches turn up, usually as a result of treating a blemish. A few months of not using a moisturizer left me skin feeling not dry, but dehydrated. I picked up the ISOI Bulgarian Rose Blemish Care Serum that I received in a BNT Box and figured I would give it a go, since I had breakouts here and there and my skin was slightly irritated (as always). That stuff was amazing at providing just the right amount of moisture and nutrients for my skin. When I ran out of it I just fell back into a no-serum routine. My skin freaked.


Get That Glow: Myra Holistic Skin Care & Myra VitaGlow BB Cream*

I kind of love that the “trend” for makeup lately has been healthy skin and the no-makeup makeup look, which obviously focuses on enhancing what you already have. That said, it’s difficult to “keep up” with the trend if you don’t have good/clear skin to begin with. I know how that feels and no matter what the trend in makeup is, blemishes and oily skin don’t tend help you achieve the look–ever. Skincare products play a big role in keeping blemishes at bay, but your diet and lifestyle have direct consequences, too. Myra1When Myra sent me a package that highlighted the fact that beautiful skin starts from within, I was like heck yeah! You go, Myra! They call it a “holistic skincare” approach and it highlights four things in addition to taking your daily dose of Vitamin E:

Sleep. Exercise. Hydrate. Eat Well. (more…)

New-In From Ellana*

If you haven’t been to the Ellana website in a while, you might want to pop over and check out their awesome new site design! It’s very sleek and pretty and they’re constantly keeping things up to date. The eyeshadow quads are back in stock and you can now order a (free) sample set that includes the entire range of  foundation and setting powder shades. How awesome is that? I actually placed an order for a quad and a sample set recently, but let’s save that story for another day. Right now I want to show you guys the goodies I took home when I attended a little get-together/event for Ellana a while back (you’ll see the fruits of that soon). nem1Everything came in a rectangular makeup bag that looks unassuming but is actually really great for holding makeup because it keeps its shape. I’m pretty sure Liz (of Project Vanity) chose it as she once wrote a post about makeup bags where she pointed out that this particular shape was great for carrying makeup. I’ve been using it ever since I got it so thanks Liz and Ellana! :) More about the cool bits inside after the jump. :) (more…)