Just In & Technical Difficulties

Hi guys! Before I show you what I picked up yesterday, I have to let you know that I’ve been experiencing some technical difficulties. I’m posting this from my iPad because my laptop has decided to be difficult. And just as I’m about to write a very important paper, too! It also means I don’t have anything to process photos from my camera on at the moment, so the photos below are from my phone. We’ll see if it can be fixed or if I have to get a new one, but in the meantime, if you see less from me, you know why.
Moving on to this awesome Burt’s Bees thinger I picked up yesterday:
I was in Beauty Bar to pick up a new Burt’s lip balm, but of course my eyes had to go over the rest of the display as well. I saw this super cute bag/pouch that looked like a bag organizer and before I knew it my hands were wrapped around it. It had a price tag hanging off of it that read 750.00 Php so I thought–that better have stuff in it too! And it does! :)
Inside are mini sizes of the Shea Butter Hand Repair Cream and Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. I already own the full-sized Hand Repair Cream (950.00 Php on its own), but it is quite large so this smaller one takes up a lot less space in my bag. I’ve been trying to kick the habit of biting the skin around my nails, so I use hand cream pretty often. It makes sense that I should have the Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream too, then! The one in this set is tiny, but again it’s perfect to chuck in your bag. The full size is not too large either, but it costs around 450 Php alone I think. 750 is not too bad of a deal for those two things plus the bag, in my opinion. I will definitely be using all three!


A bee hive and a honey bee charm on each end of the pulls. I honestly don’t know if this is a new release, but I am sure it isn’t a permanent offer. Burt’s offers a number of trial sets, but not all of them come with a pretty pouch like this one. So check it out ASAP if you want it! :)

Again, I’m struggling with technology at the moment (what’s new), but I’ll try to keep posting stuff, albeit a little more on the informal end. You can also follow me on Instagram: @ianabantug. :)

Can’t Say No To Pretty Things — Shiseido Ltd. Ed. Compact & UV Protective Foundation

I can’t remember the last time I bought something from Shiseido, but I feel like it’s always been a part of my life. My mom used both their liquid and powder foundations when I was younger and I remember the blue green and orange packaging distinctly. I also remember the smell, which is very … sublock-y, but not in an unpleasant way.  Still, I never really bothered with their base products. In part because I associated them with my mom (this is becoming less and less of a bad thing as I age), but predominantly because as a Japanese brand, their shade selection doesn’t extend into dark skin territory.

Recently though, while walking around the mall, this pretty compact sitting in the store’s window display caught my eye:

PSC1Definitely not the usual Shiseido blue green and orange. I couldn’t help but make a turn into the store to investigate. It’s shaped very much (if not exactly) like Shiseido’s usual compact cases, but the design is limited edition, inspired by the 70s, “Shiseido’s heritage, the summer ocean, traditional kimonos, peace, and eternity.” There was a second similar design but this one was calling my name. Strange, too, as I don’t usually gravitate toward blue hues. 
PSC2The compact foundation case is sold separately from the foundation and I had several to choose from (although not all of Shiseido’s foundations will fit in this case — just the round ones). I went with the UV Protective Foundation SPF 35 PA +++ (1,900 Php) because it’s supposed to be “very water resistant” and it came in the widest range of shades.  (more…)

Meet My New Frames from Get Glasses Online!

Some of you might already know that I need distance glasses for driving and…uhm, seeing things from a distance. Lol. I just started wearing glasses this year and it’s taken some getting used to, but I do appreciate that I can see the world in HD now. There was also the bit where I had to get used to having another accessory to take care of. I lost my first pair after just a month, and so I had to get my second pair in a hurry.

GGoldThese are my black Ray Ban frames. I love them but barely two months into owning them, I started thinking about getting another pair in a lighter frame colour. I sometimes feel a bit cartoonish in my Ray Bans, so I was looking at brown/tortoise shell frames and metal frames. Now there are a LOT of options for frames in Manila, but they can be pricey if you stick to branded frames. I personally don’t mind spending a bit for frames because hello, they go on your face. But there’s also a point where the patong (amount added onto base price) goes up way too high. I was seeing Dior, Tom Ford, Prada, and Chanel frames with prices jacked up to around 20k at times. So I found the frame I wanted, but I didn’t want to fork out an absurd amount of cash. Enter Glasses Online:

GG1When I found the website I was extremely pleased to see that they carried awesome brands at discounted and/or just lower prices in general. The carry brands like Persol, Carrera, Oakley, Ray Ban, and even Celine. And they don’t just sell frames for reading and distance glasses, they carry sunglasses and contact lenses too. The down-side to using the site is that you don’t actually get to try the frames on, but what I did to get around that was find the frames I wanted in a store, take the item’s code number down, and search Glasses Online for it. After some time, I found the perfect pair and placed my order. Two weeks later…GG2My Tom Ford babies arrived at my doorstep! <3 Shipping would have been faster if I had chosen a popular frame, but I had my heart set on this particular one. I adore Tom Ford as a designer (on a makeup-related note, I own no TF item just yet. Shame!) and I love the “T” detail that wraps around the edges of his eyewear, as you will see in a bit!  (more…)

Copper & Cool: Sigma x Luxola

LSG1Luxola hasn’t been around for long, but it’s already one of the top players in the Asian online makeup selling biz. The site carries tons of awesome brands, such as Real Techniques, Rouge Bunny Rouge, 3CE (!), Edward Bess, Sleek, and of course, Sigma, which is the top-selling brand. This is my first transaction with Luxola, and the site did reach out to me for this particular one, but it was really only a matter of time before I purchased something from them. I’ve actually been waiting for their stock of a particular product to be replenished. But anyway, back to this little haul! Sigma is celebrating its 5th annivesary this year and they’ve come out with a special copper collection to celebrate.

LSG2I mean look at those gorgeous copper ferrules. YES. What else does one say when presented with such beauty. Here I have the F80 Flat Kabuki (limited edition for the collection), E21 Smudge, E11 Eye Liner, and a Sigma Gel Eyeliner in the shade Unexpected(more…)

New, Juicy Shades! Mary Kay True Dimensions Lipsticks *

MKL1The Mary Kay True Dimensions Lipsticks (860.00 Php) are perfect for people who like moisturizing lipstick formulas. Infused with Vitamin E, Sunflower Seed oil, Jojoba, and Mango Butter, these feel more like a lipbalm than an actual lipstick — except they are lipsticks and they come in a nicely-sized range of 11 colours. Mary Kay recently added four shades to the range recently, and here I have two of them:  (more…)

Avon’s Sweet Honesty: The Relaunch of A Classic

ASH1I have memories of Sweet Honesty* from when I was a pre-teen. Looking through Avon catalogues (for training bras, which I might as well still be wearing today because I unfortunately didn’t develop much in that area, lol), I was always interested in all the pretty looking things. I was — and still am, to some extent — a girly girl. I remember one of my helpers actually bought me a scent for Christmas one year and I had forgotten what it was until Avon sent me this package recently. When I took a sniff of Sweet Honesty, memories from that time in my life came rushing back. Funny how scents have that effect, huh? It’s always nice to be reminded of happy times. :) 

Avon has since repackaged the fragrance and they’ve expanded the line to include Sweet Honesty Moments and Sweet Honesty Forever(more…)

Battle of the Micellar Waters: Bioderma vs. Happy Skin

Presenting the only two micellar water makeup removers available in Manila. Yup, Bioderma has finally washed up on our shores and should be available in Watsons branches by later this month. Now when I bought the Happy Skin Make A Clean Sweep makeup remover, I wasn’t yet aware of that and so I thought it would have the advantage of being the only micellar water formula in the Philippines. That is no longer the case. The playing field has been leveled and now I can compare these formulas without feeling guilty about giving it to Bioderma, hands down. Here’s why:  
BMWWhat these two obviously have in common is that they are micellar waters. With enough cotton pads and micellar water, one can remove makeup without having to work over a sink. That’s because micelle molecules are a whole bunch of surfactant molecules clustered together that make the mild-but-powerful awesomeness that remove oil, dirt, and makeup from the skin. Surfactants, if you remember from your grade school science class, are those nifty molecules that make soap work. In micellar water, these dense packs of surfactants (the micelles) are like soap but are different in that they are activated by cotton pads instead of water. What do cotton pads and water have in common? They’re both hydrophilic. It’s pretty interesting and relatively simple (check this out for a more comprehensive but still simple explanation) but most people just want to know: relative to makeup removal, does it work? Yes. Yes, it does. 

It works so well that one bottle of Bioderma Crealine H20 sells every 6 seconds. Models especially love the stuff for the obvious reason that it’s incredibly convenient for use between shows/shoots. Celebrities and regular people like myself (because yes, we can lump those two together if we wanna lol) love it because it feels just like water but does the job of removing makeup so easily. Plus Bioderma abroad is cheap as chips. No word on the local pricing as of yet, but I’m hopeful the patong won’t be too high. Another great thing about Bioderma is that I don’t feel any residue after using it, which is awesome, but it’s still not the best way to cleanse your full face every day so I do tend to just use it to remove eye makeup. I soak a cotton pad, press it to my eye for about 15 seconds, and gently sweep everything off. No irritation from the formula, no need for excessive tugging, and no oily residue. 

To be fair, Happy Skin’s Make A Clean Sweep Revitalizing Micellar Makeup Remover (599 Php for 100mL) is up against the best of the best. Still, I was just disappointed by the product in more ways than I thought to expect. Starting on a happy note, the packaging is top quality and the design is beautiful. I appreciate the pump and that the plastic used is thick and sturdy. The bottle, while pretty and well-designed, contains only 100mL of product. That’s the first negative thing I have to say. The Bioderma bottle beside it might not have a pump or feature cute coloured plastic, but it holds a full 150 mL more for a total of 250 mL. And that’s Bioderma’s small bottle (there is a tiny one for travel). This is important because you need quite a bit of micellar water per use — and even on that level, Happy Skin didn’t live up to Bioderma’s standards. I needed more of the Happy Skin formula to get it to work. That coupled with the smaller bottle meant that I was halfway through the Make A Clean Sweep Revitalizing Micellar Makeup Remover after just a week and a half of use. That’s crazy.

Formula-wise, Happy Skin added some Japanese Tea and Lotus Seed extracts to soothe and plump up skin. I don’t think I noticed either of those effects. In fact, I felt the mildest bit of irritation after use. It’s nothing major, but compared to Bioderma… I also felt that there was residue left on the skin after using the product, so I always had to rinse the area again afterwards. So yes, it worked. But… meh. Bioderma all the way.


Will keep you guys up to date on the availability and pricing of Bioderma products locally! Follow me on instagram for more frequent updates. :)

Burt’s Bees Birthday Bash! Happy 30th! Love, The Beauty Bee

Two weeks ago I attended Burt’s Bees’ 30th Birthday celebration at the Seda hotel in BGC. I was ecstatic to have been invited because the brand has been a part of my life since I was just 12 years old. I had my tin of their classic lip balm with me everywhere I went and I was obsessed with it. I still use the same lip balm up until this day, albeit in the twist-up stick form. There’s nothing quite like that minty feeling coupled with the perfect texture for a lip balm. Not too soft nor too hard. Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetAnother thing I love about Burt’s Bees is their use of natural ingredients. They are one of the few brands who can use the “natural bar” on their products. None of the products are less than a certain percentage natural (as prescribed by the US FDA), and should they be around the 95% mark, it will be marked clearly on the packaging. The birthday sign you see above is actually made out of live, natural ingredients, much like what goes into Burt’s Bees products. It’s true that nature made us who we are, and very often the remedies to our problems are provided by mother nature herself. 

HBDBB6Upon arriving at the venue, guests were given mason jars that we could fill with iced water and sliced fruit. Keeping hydrated is one of the best things you can do for you skin and any additional incentive for drinking more water is a good thing–cute straws and hipster-y mason jars included! If you’d like to see what else went down at the birthday bash, read on! :)  (more…)

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?” :)