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. :) Continue reading

In The Comfort Zone

CZ1Wet n Wild’s eyeshadows are known for being kick-ass and (super) affordable at the same time. I have a few of their trios, but this Comfort Zone palette ($4.99) is the first of their larger palettes that I’ve been able to get my hands on. This and Petal Pusher are the most popular, I believe.

Popular products are popular for a reason, folks. This is probably one of the more unique palettes I own, although I do tend to be conservative when it comes to palettes (i.e. I like neutrals). The shades here aren’t out of this world either, but they’re nuanced enough to merit a closer look.  Continue reading

Virginia Olsen Minerals — Sample Swatches!

I used to be one of those people who just wrote mineral makeup off without giving it a chance. This was, of course, before Ellana came into my life and when I still had very little exposure to mineral makeup other than one Bare Minerals blush I owned. Now that mineral makeup is a lot more accessible (again, mostly because of Ellana Cosmetics!), I actually gravitate towards mineral makeup. I mean, if something can be kick-ass and safer for your skin at the same time, go for it! Still, mineral makeup can be a hit-and-miss affair, so when Virginia Olsen sent over some loose mineral eyeshadows for me to try, I was curious to see how they would perform. VOME1I had heard of Virginia Olsen before from websites like Zalora, but I was mostly interested in their brushes. They sent me some eyeshadow samples though, which I was very happy to receive and play around with. I have the shades Darling, Innocence, Champage, and Gunmetal, which are all quite standard shades except for Darling, which is a light matte pink–not something I see very often in loose eyeshadow form. They have a huge selection though and they are very affordable at just 165.00Php a pop! I have my eyes on some of the brighter and deeper shades, like Donnarence and Planet
VOME2Swatched on my arm with no primer underneath: Darling, Innocence, Champagne, and Gun Metal. It took me a while to figure out that primer would help the shades show much better, but used dry they are still pretty impressive. For a light matte shade, Darling is pretty smooth. I can’t use it all over the lid alone because my skin tone is too deep, but it makes for a great brightening base or a brow bone highlight. Innocence is a pretty shimmery pink; it reminds me of Barbie box packaging and plastic accessories (in a good way). Champagne is the winner of the bunch and the swatch doesn’t do it justice–it really does look like yellow champagne and when packed onto the lid, it glows like a backlit bottle of bubbly. Gun Metal is your standard blackened silvery…gunmetal grey. It’s a shade every makeup lover has to own in some form or another, I think. I don’t do smokey eyes with this type of shade very often anymore, but I’m glad to have it in my stash!

Overall I was impressed with the quality of these loose eyeshadows. The obvious drawback is that they are not pressed and so working with them is a little messy and they won’t be the most convenient to store. But the quality is there and the price point is awesome! Again, they have very interesting and unique looking shades on the Virginia Olsen website, so go check them out! :) You can also find them on Facebook!

Ellana Mineral Cosmetics Blush Duo in “Obsession/Fulfillment”*

EMBD1It’s time for my long-overdue review of the Ellana Cosmetics Blush Duo (450.00 Php for 9g)**! :) I have this in the shade Obsession/Fulfillment, which is a combo of asheer strawberry pink shade and a light peach with slight gold shimmer. It took me ages to really get to know this product–mostly because I thought the shades would be too light for me–but I eventually did end up loving it as much as every other Ellana product I own.  The blush duos are so popular that most of them are actually sold out at the moment, but once they are back in stock, I’m definitely going for Bunny/Ecstasy next! Until then, read on to know my thoughts on the product! :)  Continue reading

My Favourite Body Scrub

StIves1…is a face scrub! I think it’s pretty difficult to find a good body scrub. Many don’t actually work so much as exfoliants as they are heavily scented tubs of goop. Plus, one tub can set you back anywhere from 600 – 1000 ++ pesos. The other alternative is to use a rough loofah or a brush with your usual body wash. That’s actually what I had been doing before I started using this St. Ives Apricot Scrub (223.00 Php at PCX). Now there is a version of the product meant for use on the body. It comes in a large tube and is priced at approximately 600 Php– pricier than this face scrub, for some reason. I think the exfoliating beads in the body scrub are slightly larger than those in this product, but I dislike when they are too large anyway.

StIves2.jpgI didn’t realize how freaky finger-scrape marks looked until I had these photos in my laptop. Lol. Anyway, don’t mind that!

I exfoliate my legs every other day and I get about a month and a half of use out of one tub, which contains a good 10 oz of product. Once a week I’ll use this all over my body and I love that the granules are neither too large nor too small, and consequently the scrub is never too harsh or too mild for use on the body. That said, I would never ever use a physical exfoliant like this on my face. Way too harsh! Limited to use on the body, this is fantastic stuff. My skin is always nice and smooth afterwards and the smell of apricots is a lovely bonus as well. 
StIves3The granules up close. These are NOT little plastic beads–they’re some sort of organic bit mx of Apricot, Corn Kernel Meal, and Walnut. Plastic microbeads were all the rage in exfoliants for a while, but they actually did a lot of shit for the environment. After going down the drain, they’d make their way to riverbeds, beaches, and formed a foreign part of water sources. Organic matter as exfoliants are supposed to be more abrasive (in the bad way) on the skin, but these don’t hurt at all and I sure as hell am not willing to worsen the environmental situation on this earth for the sake of smooth skin.

Bottom line is that this face scrub makes an excellent body scrub. This is the “blemish control” one but there’s also a “fresh skin” one on the shelves. What are your fave body scrubs? :)

Introducing: The Julep Plie Wand

If you’re like me and you love painting your own nails instead of having them done at a salon, this post is definitely going to interest you. I do still go have my nails professionally cleaned about once a month, but I actually prefer to paint them myself. Years of being nail polish obsessed (I used to post more NOTDs–should get back into that!) have made me very particular about the way it’s done. I think I’m pretty damn good, but the struggle to paint with my non-dominant hand is all too real. So when Julep got in touch with me to tell me about this newfangled contraption of theirs called a Plie Wand that supposedly “solves common polishing pain points” to “give you better results,” I was all ears (or eyes, if you prefer, as it was an e-mail I was reading).

PlieBrushHere she is! Julep describes the Plie Wand as “an ergonomic nail polishing tool designed to solve common polishing pain points and give you better results.” The tool fits onto Julep nail polish bottles, which I admittedly don’t own, but wish I did. They have an amazing-looking selection and as far as I know, they’re sold in Julep parlors across the USA and also in Sephora.

So why am I even sharing this, you ask? Well, I do have American readers and I was genuinely excited to hear about the product so I thought why not. If I ever get the chance to pick it up in the future, I will. As early as this point in the post, I want to make it clear that even though the brand contacted me, I am not being compensated for sharing the info in any way. Again, I just genuinely wanted to share an interesting product launch. Plus, I believe this is a crowd-funded product. Pretty cool! Now back to the Wand:

Plie2

The idea is that the longer, adjustable handle will give you more control, comfort, and options as to the way you grip it and get leverage out of it. It’s a simple concept that looks incredibly promising, in my opinion. Watch it in action in this short video (btw, who else looooves watching nail polish glide onto a nail? #nailporn):

Pretty neat, huh? :) The Plie Wand is available starting today (June 25) on Julep’s website. I think the price is a little steep, but the brush can be cleaned and used on different colours so obviously you will only need one. The one major limitation is that it is limited to use with one brand–but then again, if it has to be so, then I’m glad it’s a brand with such a wide range of colours.

Again, this is not a sponsored review of any sort. I can’t exactly recommend that you buy the product because I haven’t put it to the test myself, but you guys can certainly share in my curiosity and excitement about it. I mean, why didn’t someone think of this sooner?!

Does the Plie Wand look like something you would try? :) And if you have tried it already, do leave a comment below!

My Top Two Target Finds

TTTF1.jpgI picked up a decent number of items from Target while I was in the US, but these two products have really stood out since I got home and started putting them to work: The Sonia Kashuk Eye Couture Palette in Eye On Neutral 02 ($19.99) and the NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in Sunny 720A (approx. $2.35) are both incredible products are incredibly low prices (considering how good they are). I couldn’t be happier with these babies and if you ever find yourself at Target, I suggest you grab them! No hurry because they’re not limited edition or anything, but the sooner you get your hands on them, the sooner you can enjoy using them! :)  Continue reading

What I Packed: USA 2014

USA bag 1This was meant to be a “what I will be taking to the US” post, but I failed at getting it ready in time. It works out well enough though because now I can tell you guys what I regret taking with me and what I wish I had brought. Packing beauty items for travel has never been easy for me, unless I’m going to the beach (see my beach beauty post from a few months back). I always want to have options but I know I have to pack as light as possible because of weight and liquid limitations… plus I knew I was going to be buying new stuff there too, hehe!

After taking these photos I moved all of my makeup to a different makeup bag because (as you can see) my striped MUJI one was just too full. The black case to the right is the Real Techniques brush holder that comes with their sets.  Continue reading

I’M BACK (and here’s what I bought)!

IMG_5174Sorry for being absent for so long, guys! I was in the US for a couple of weeks and I thought I would have time to put up some posts while I was there, but my schedule was just way too hectic. I got back last Thursday and had to get right back to school so (again) I have very little free time.

Anyway, here’s everything I got (beauty-wise) while I was there! :) I thought I bought tons of stuff, but seeing everything lined up, it looks like a lot less than I thought it was… still, there are loads of gems in there (and some duds, too) so I’ll be telling you guys about those for sure! :)

Hope you’ve all been well! Catch you in the next post. ;)