Discovering BeautyMNL.com

Hello beautiful people!

Today I’m sharing an online shopping platform with you all.  It’s a site that is dedicated to makeup and all things beauty.  It was launched early last year by the same people behind Deal Grocer and Taste Central.

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Now you might be wondering, “What’s so special about it?  There are a lot of online makeup stores in the Philippines.”  Yeah, I was thinking the same thing until they unveiled their product lineup.  BeautyMNL is probably the biggest online shopping platform for beauty products here in the Philippines and they offer a wide range of products, and by wide I mean REALLY WIDE.  They partnered with other online stores we already know (e.g. Digital Traincase) and carry their products on the site. Cult favorite brands like MAC, NARS, Chanel, Dior, Guerlain, Tarte, Fresh, Redken, Jo Malone, et al. have limited range of products on the site.  Aside from high end brands BeautyMNL also carry drugstore products, both local and imported brands.  As if that isn’t enough, they even stock high end and drugstore beauty products from Japanese and Korean brands.

Overall, they have a seriously solid product range that won’t fall short from your expectations.  Before you ask, no I’m not being paid to say this! haha!  I’m just sharing this with you because I love makeup, I love shopping for makeup and most of all, I love getting a really good deal.  Now, if you’re patient about buying makeup, you can get good deals at the site, like the one I’m about to share with you.

Yep, I’m finally getting to the whole point of this post, which is my pre-birthday haul at BeautyMNL. Btdubs, this haul prompted me to decide on a 1.5 month long shopping ban. 

Last Sunday, I was idly browsing through my Instagram feed when I chanced on a post by @beautymnl announcing that giftcards are 30% off on Mother’s Day, and you can use the credits to buy anything on the site.

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I probably hesitated for all of 5 seconds before buying enough GC’s to buy something that I’ve been wanting to have for yeeeeears.  I’m not even kidding.

Curious as to what it is?  It’s the Michael Kors Mercer Gold-tone watch:

It just so happens that they have this in stock at BeautyMNL, and I knew this was the perfect opportunity to get it at a discount.  I know there are a lot of MK watches available online but I am wary of purchasing from them due to authenticity issues, so I put off buying it.  Turns out, it was a good decision because man, I got this at a really good price.

If you click on the link to this item above, you will see that it was initially P16,000.00 but it’s discounted so it’s only P12,000.00 which is still a lot of money, in my opinion.  So with 30% discount on gift cards, I only spent P8500.00 ish to get enough gift card credits for the watch.

But it seems like I was fated to have this watch for my birthday because when I was trying to input the code to credit my first gift card into my account, I couldn’t get it right, and ended up reaching the limit of entering invalid codes.  I had to wait another 24 hours before I can try again.  I was so frustrated with it because it’s such a classic case of so near and yet so faaaar from my reach.

Needless to say, my impatience got the best of me so I created another account on beautymnl using my other email address.  Then I was pleasantly surprised to see that the 20% discount for first time purchases is still ongoing.

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hello you beautiful beautifuuuul thang

Surprise morphed into a short freak-out-happy-dancing session when it sunk in that I got my Michael Kors watch at half the sale price! P6000.00!! HOLY MOLY AWESOME DEAL. 😮  Oh, can I just say?  I’d take a fashion watch over a luxury watch any day. #obviously

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Riding on that high, I picked up several other items along with it with the remaining credits, because heck, I already purchased the giftcards anyway.

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Revlon Photoready Skinlights in Bronze Light – you guys know how much I love this.  This has been a staple on my makeup routine since I started using it last year.  I mix it with my foundation or stipple it on top of my makeup base.  It’s like a temporary face tan and illuminator rolled into one.  I am yet to finish my first bottle which I got last year, and I have a back up, but hey it never hurts to have another one since I know I’m going to stay tanned for a while.  A long loooong while, thanks to wakeboarding.

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Revlon Photoready Skinlights in Peach Light – Since I love the bronze version of this, and I actually liked this when I swatched it in the counter sometime last week, I decided to spend some of the spare credits on this because I haven’t actually tried a liquid highlighter aside from MeMeMe’s sunbeam.  I’ll let you know how I get on with this highlighter and if it’s as good as the bronze one.

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Pixi by Petra Pencil sharpener – haven’t seen any reviews on this one but I need a new sharpener so I thought I’d try this out.

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Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment with SPF 15 lip balm – I feel like these have been around forever and I’m the last one to give them a whirl, but hey, better late than never!

So those are all the “freebies” I got with my birthday haul at BeautyMNL.  I am absolutely excited to try these, and I can’t wait to start using my new watch!

Right after purchasing it though, my smug grin faded slightly when I realized how much I’ve been spoiling myself with the “my birthday is coming up anyway” excuse so I’m now on a shopping ban until end of June. Lol!   It’s a way to alleviate the guilt I suppose.

Just in case you’re worried about shipping, they have their own courier and they charge P50.00 for shipping within Metro Manila and a flat rate of P100.00 outside Manila.  One thing I love about this site is that they are never late with deliveries.  I ordered the giftcards on Sunday afternoon and they were delivered at 8:00am the next day.  For the watch and beauty items, I ordered them last Monday around midnight and it arrived at 2:00pm the next day.  Talk about express shipping!

Does anyone want to see the rest of my birthday haul? I’m currently working on a brush review but I though it’s more timely to post about the things I received on my birthday first.

Let me know what you guys would rather see.

BTW if you still haven’t signed up for a BeautyMNL account, then you are in luck because that means a 20% discount is waiting for you on your first purchase.  My advice?  Make it count!  It’s the perfect opportunity to pick up those high end makeup items that you can’t stomach purchasing full price.

Cheers!

Erika

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Beauty: 14 Holy Grails from 2014

Hi everyone!

I’m finally back with a beauty post and this time I’m going to talk to you guys about my 14 favorite beauty items from 2014.

Here’s a sneak peek:

14 2014

I had a full list in multiple categories but I knew it was ambitious and I probably wouldn’t be able to share my thoughts about all of them since it will need to be divided into a series of posts.  I have to be honest, I’m horrible at series posts.  I can’t finish them, so I scaled the list down to bare minimum to show you the ones that I constantly reached for last year.

Let’s start with face products.

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Chanel Creme Blush not included in the photo

One of my biggest makeup dilemmas last year was finding the perfect foundation match.  I never had this problem when I was just starting to use makeup because I was fair-skinned and practically any BB cream and light-tone foundations I’ve tried matches me well.  That changed when I started getting more and more tanned.  It was a struggle looking for a yellow tone foundation that would match me.  Most of the drugstore ones I’ve tried (and I accumulated a number of them while searching) were either too ashy or orange once it sets.

Shu Uemura The Lightbulb

Then, along came Shu Uemura The Lightbulb foundation.  I’m not gonna lie, the price made me wince.  It retails for P2350.00 here in the Philippines.  But since it landed on the top of my Holy Grail list, you already know that it is worth the hefty price tag.

This foundation claims to give you good coverage, glowing complexion and comfortable to wear on the skin.  For once, here is a product that does everything that it claims to do.  I love the lightness of this formula.  It almost feels like you don’t have any foundation on but the coverage is really good.  I don’t have any issues with my skin and I mainly use foundation to even out my skin tone. I only use half a pump of this foundation but the coverage is really good, so I can even skip the concealer whenever I use this.  I have it in the shade Moderate Beige (744) and it’s a perfect match for me when I’m really tanned.

One more thing that I like about The Lightbulb is the hydrating formula.  I have dry skin, so I love makeup bases that also helps hydrate the skin.  The formula is a tad more watery than most foundations but it really packs a punch.  It sets into a really nice dewy finish that makes your skin look like it’s glowing from within.  Literally a lightbulb effect! I like to set this with MAC MSF Natural powder (which I will talk about in a bit) and it lasts pretty much all day long on my skin without blotting or retouching.  This foundation is heaven sent.  Good job on this foundation Shu Uemura!

P.S.  I saw some reviews on this foundation and because it has oil in it, it probably won’t work for you if you have oily/combination skin.  If you’re planning to check the Shu counter for foundations, check out the Face Architect range instead.  They have a nice shade range and it works well with normal to oily skin types.

Loreal Lucent Magique

After falling in love with the Shu Uemura The Lightbulb foundation, I started looking for a drugstore alternative with a similar formula and finish.  I found my match in the L’oreal Lucent Magique Light-Infusing foundation.  Do you notice all the reference to the lighting with foundations these days?

Anyway, I have this in the shade G4 (gold shell) and it retails for P845.00.  This shade is a little bit lighter than the Shu Uemura foundation that I have, which is perfect because my tan is starting to fade so I need something that will match my skin during the transition.  I love being tanned but it can be such a pain in the butt!

But I digress.  Let’s talk about the formula of this foundation.  Like The Lightbulb, this foundation feels really light and wears comfortably on the skin.  Coverage is a tad bit lighter but you can build it up to medium coverage.  I’m fine with just one layer of this.  I just apply concealer in problem areas like the redness around my nose and my dark under eye circles.  This foundation sets into a dewy finish.

Once I set this foundation with powder, I don’t even need to blot or retouch but it lasts pretty well throughout the day.  Love the stuff! This is the foundation that I am using at the moment.

Revlon Skinlights

This Revlon Photoready Skinlights face illuminator (P875.00) is one of the many unsung heroes in the brand’s makeup line.  I haven’t tried any of the lighter shades but this one in the shade Bronze light is a life saver!

When I was struggling to find a foundation that would match me, I usually end up with a foundation that was just wrong for my skin tone.  The good thing is, nobody noticed because I always used this handy little product to correct it.  Since it’s a liquid formula I use a stippling brush to apply this like you would apply a powder bronzer and it single-handedly transformed all of my flop foundation shades into something that actually works for my skin.  You might think I’ll look like a shiny bronze ball since this is an illuminator but the shimmer actually fades and is barely visible once the product is blended onto the skin.  It’s like a temporary face tanner.

It stays on well throughout the day, although I usually wear this underneath a setting powder then layer a bronzing powder on top to maximize the staying power.

 Creme de chanel blush presage

Chanel Cream Blush in Presage – I’ve been hearing so many good things about Chanel Cream blushes but I never tried it because boyyyyy it’s esspensiiive! haha!  I’m not sure how much this would cost if you buy it in Rustan’s but I’m pretty sure it will be a little over P2000.00.

I got mine from a blogsale so it was half-priced and barely used.  I actually got two shades but I really prefer this one.  It’s a really nice peachy coral shade that reminds me of the cream blush that Mac came out with for the Prabal Gurung collection.

It’s a shade that is universally flattering and while I will remain loyal to more affordable makeup options, I cannot deny that designer brand makeup are expensive for a reason. This cream blush has a very unique velvety feel and it is not tacky like most cream blushes are.  Chanel Cream blushes are known for are their cream to powder finish, incredible pigmentation and lasting power.  You only need a tiny bit of this, so swirl your fingers on the pan real lightly, dab the color on your cheeks and blend. I like to apply this before setting my foundation so I can diffuse the color intensity when I over apply.  It also lasts longer when worn beneath setting powders.

Will I pick up more of these?  Well, maybe.  I love my drugstore stuff (and prices) too much, but I love this product so much I just might shell out 50 dollars for one if this runs out.

MAC MSF Natural

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural – I know everybody and their mom has been long over the hype of this powder, but man, that doesn’t make this any less amazing.

I love this powder because it doesn’t look cakey no matter how much you pile on your face.  This is something that I’ve been reaching for EVERYDAY since I bought it last August.  If you have dry skin like I do, I always struggle with products that are too drying on the skin  (yes MAC Prolongwear foundation, I’m looking at you).  What I really like about this powder is it makes matte foundations look glowy/dewy as well.

I was lucky enough to score this at a beauty outlet store in Canada last year.  I think I only paid CAD 32.00 for it.  I’d pay full price for it and repurchase when this one runs out.  Which it probably won’t do for a loooong time because MAC products just seem to last forever.  I think this retails for P1700.00 or P1800.00 in local MAC stores.

MAC Trace Gold

MAC TRACE GOLD – this is a blush but it looks more like a rose gold highlight that is bordering on the bronze territory.  It might look intimidating for some people, but it’s actually a really nice product.  I like to use it on its own as a blush when I have heavy eye makeup on, but if it’s not dramatic, I like to use this either as a highlight or a base color for more pigmented blushes.

MAC blushes retails for P1350.00 in local MAC stores.

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So now that we’re done with the face makeup, let’s talk about the eye and lip products.

Happy Skin Brow Pen

Happy Skin Eye Love View Double Duty Eyebrow Duo –  Can I just quickly mention that I love love love Happy Skin?  It’s such an amazing local beauty brand! ❤

This Eyebrow pencil is dual ended.  One end has the retractable pencil, the other one is a liquid brow pen similar to k-palette brow pens.  While I love the K-palette ones as well, I chose this over that because (hello, support local!) you get more value for your money.  The K-palette brow duo (pen and powder combo) retails for P1059.00 if I’m not mistaken and it just dries up so quickly.  The powder also turns sticky and pasty for some reason.   Boo.

So going back to Happy Skin this is only P799.00 and the pencil part of this duo is just amazing.  I pick this up every time I am in a hurry to do my brows because it’s just so easy to work with!  The pencil is soft enough that it makes filling your brows in a total breeze, but it’s also hard enough that it will not give you scruse brows.  It’s amazing!

The liquid pen on the other hand is great if you want your eyebrows to look really precise without looking too drawn on.  You can use it to draw brow hairs so it looks more natural.   Did I mention that it claims to be waterproof? I’ve tested it out and it really is! I also noticed that my brows looks a whole lot healthier when I use this because it has argan oil and it nourishes your brow hair while it’s on your face.  Amazeballs right?

I bought this on impulse but it now has a permanent spot in my beauty arsenal.

   Dollywink

Dolly Wink Brow Tint in Dark Cocoa – I bought this on my last trip to Hongkong last year after reading a review that it is similar to the MAC Brow Set.  Well ladies, it’s even better than the MAC one and the best part is, you only have to shell out P300.00 to P400.00 for it.  I’ve been using this every. single. day. since I opened it  March last year and it still feels the same and works the same way it did when it was newly opened.  Amazing right?

Lucky you, you don’t have to go all the way to Hongkong or Japan to get it anymore.

You can order it at beautymnl.com or from Dolly Wink booths in SM Dept. Stores, Watsons or The Ramp.

Try not to buy this from other online stores or bazaars because most of the Dolly Wink stuff sold in bazaars are fake.  I like a good bargain as well as the next person, but if it’s makeup, I am never going to use counterfeits.  I’ll buy from dirt cheap brands because at least, they really declare the stuff that goes into their products.  With fake items, you just don’t know what’s in it.

 Heroine Make

Heroine Make Long & Curl mascara – This mascara is amaaaaazing.  Seriously one of the best mascaras I’ve ever tried!  It’s dirt cheap (buy it in Japan or HK) at just P300.00 per tube.  It’s rather liquidy when it’s new so it’s a challenge to keep it from making your lashes clump.  I usually wipe off some of the excess on the lid then brush it on.  It’s a really jet black mascara that wouldn’t smear or flake off.  It dries really fast so make sure you work quickly and if you accidentally smudge it on your eyelids or under eye area, it’s best to remove it right away because this mascara is stubborn and it’s a total bitch to remove.

Does it sound like a troublesome mascara to work with?  Honestly, it takes a bit of adjusting to get used to this mascara, but once you get used to it, you will love it.  I got the lengthening one but it still gives an incredible amount of lift and volume to my lashes.  Even with the watery formula, this mascara keeps my lashes curled all day, which is no mean feat.  I have a hard time looking for mascaras that keeps my lashes curled.  I have found quite a number of them over the years but none of them keeps my lashes curled all day like this mascara does.

The Japanese makes some really amazing beauty products even if it’s just for the drugstore.

Heroine Make is available in select SM Department stores and the prices are a bit higher. 

Maybelline Color Tattoos

Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadows in Barely Branded and Bad to the Bronze

I’ve been hearing so many good things about these cream shadows for years, however due to my aversion to cream makeup anything, I haven’t tried these amazing pots of goodness until November last year.

These eyeshadows are amazing and they seriously deserve every rave review.  I am going on a limb and say that these are even better than those overpriced MAC paint pots. You guys know how much I love MAC.  You only have to scroll back up to look at the evidence, but man, why do they make the paint pots that dry?

The color tattoos cost about a third of the price of a MAC Paint Pot but they are really lovely to work with.  It’s easy to pick up the product from the pot (I like to apply these with my fingers) and it just blends so easily on the lids.  Pigmentation is a hit and miss for the brighter colors, but the neutral colors are pretty much solid.

If you’ve been hesitating about picking these up like I was, well girl, better get them now.  You won’t regret it.

MUFE Aqua Eyes 

Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Pencil Liner in L2

I guess you can already tell that I love this eyeliner because it’s already super short. haha!  It’s one of those eyeliners that doesn’t smudge or budge no matter how sweaty you get.  It fades gradually but you will not notice any smudging, which is why I aways bring this with me on vacation trips.  The dark brown shade makes this eyeliner look more natural than regular black but it still gives your eyes definition.  This eyeliner has an almost gel-like feel.  It glides on smoothly and once it sets, it is not budging until you remove it with a waterproof makeup remover.

I’ve had this for a while so I can’t really remember how much it was.  I think it’s a little over P1000.00 now.

      Jackblack

 Jack Black Lip Balm in Mango & Mandarin – I know this is a lip balm for guys but this is hands down the best lip balm I’ve ever used.  I love that it’s not greasy but it’s not too thick either.  It can be a bit heavy if you’re not used to the texture but once you get used to it, you will love how it gives your lips an almost velvety feel.

It has SPF 20 which is really handy if you’re going swimming or heading to the beach because this baby is waterproof. We tend to forget about putting sunblock on our lips, so this is something that can keep your lips hydrated while giving your lips protection from the sun.  I wore this lip balm the first time I went wakeboarding.  I was at it for 8 hours, and even without reapplying and I could still feel it on my lips afterwards.

Jack Black is now available in major SM Department Stores.

Rimmel Kate Moss 107

Rimmel Lasting Finish By Kate Matte Lipstick in 107 – Ah, where do I even begin?  I love my MAC lipsticks, but when something as inexpensive as this comes along I have to take notice.

This is available locally but it is rather hard to find.  It’s usually priced between P220.00 to P350.00 depending on the online store.  I got this on a trip to Canada for CAD 5.00.  This lipstick is very affordable but it is the best drugstore lipstick I’ve ever tried.  I love the black ones from this range as well, but I have a soft spot for matte lipsticks and this shade.  107 is a subdued blue toned berry that I think will go well with almost any skintone.  It pops nicely against darker skin tones and it also looks wonderful on people with lighter skin tone.

All of the lipsticks from this range have really nice texture.  It’s smooth and the lipstick glides on the lip with full-on opaque color in one swipe.  It’s also very hydrating and it stays on very well.  They really meant it when they said it’s a “lasting finish” lipstick.

Bite Rhubarb

And finally, we’re on the last item on the list.  This is the Bite Beauty Lip Pencil in Rhubarb.  This is a lipstick that you will buy because of it’s really unique texture and all-natural ingredients.  This smells really delicious.  It smells like fruits and this will make your lips feel smooth and hydrated like lip balms do while giving you the color and lasting power of a lipstick.  It’s just an outstanding lip product plus they have a really wide range of shades.  You just can’t go wrong with Bite lipsticks.

This post was like, 2 months late because I’ve been doing a lot of traveling and not enough writing.  Even I have to admit that, so I hope that this post will get the ball rolling so I can start posting more this year.

I know this is really long post, so if you stayed with me up to this point, thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I hope this was a helpful post somehow.

I will talk to you guys again on my next post!

Cheers,

Erika

Personal: 2014 Year-End Time Capsule

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Everybody keeps on saying it, but sometimes when you’re in a quiet room all by yourself, and reflect on the past few days or weeks of your life, you just can’t help but think about how time passed by so quickly.

Does this happen to you too or is it just me?

I find that I’m always absorbed with work or a particular project and when I emerge from that haze, I feel like time just slipped past without me noticing at all.  I always feel like this a few days before the year ends.   I regret that I wasted so much time.  It’s not so bad for 2014 compared to 2013 because last year, I got to travel a lot and I think I finally found what I would really love to do for a living, but I guess I shouldn’t regret because it did lead me to this point.

So why am I yammering about time you ask?  Well, it’s because this year, I’ve decided to do a recap of my year with a monthly highlight or two.

Ready? Brace yourself because this is one long trip down the memory lane.

01 Jan Macau

JANUARY

was for recalibration

A fresh and new beginning from 2013.  I was really happy to start the year with a trip out of the country.  I desperately needed some time off, away from all the craziness in Manila, and this was just perfect.

01 Jan HK

Trip to Hongkong and Macau

Nothing out of the ordinary since I’ve been to HK several times, but this time we took the time to visit Macau and I organized the trip on my own.  From booking the airline tickets down to the itinerary, my mom gave me free rein since my dad didn’t want to go on the trip. (Don’t ask me why he didn’t want to come along.  I don’t understand either.)

It was really fun and memorable because we discovered how to go around Macau on our own using the free shuttle services and on foot.  I really enjoy traveling, especially when I get to walk around foreign cities, so this was really fun for me.  I was surprised my mom didn’t complain because we walked a lot on this trip. We even took the ferry to Hongkong and from the docking area, we walked to our hotel.  We usually book a room in Marco Polo, which would have been the hotel right in front of the harbor, but this time I booked in the Holiday Inn which is a couple of streets across.  This walk, along with the luggage dragging, is what made my mom complain. haha!

I also went on a couple of solo walks in the evening, hunting for places to eat and makeup shopping.  Yeah, you might recall the makeup haul that took place.  I am yet to open some of the things I bought. Oops.

02 Feb Isabela

FEBRUARY

recharge and renew

I went home to Isabela for a couple of days to renew my passport, but I ended up renewing much more than just that.  Oh and that’s pancit cabagan in the photo, one of my favorite dishes from Isabela. 

Visited my hometown this month.  It was a really quick trip, and I flew in because I didn’t have time to waste on the drive to and from Manila.  I haven’t gone to Isabela for the whole 2013, and looking back, the visit was something that I never realized I needed until I went back.

Returning to the place where you grew up and everyone knows you is a great way to retrieve something that you lost unconsciously. People remember me as I was the last time I visited and how I’ve always been and that kind of treatment from the people you’ve know your entire life does something to you.  Sometimes, we lose pieces of ourselves without even noticing it until the people who knew you unconsciously return the broken fragments and you’re able to piece it back together.  It’s never the same as before but it’s better than having that gaping hole in your heart.

Am I making sense?  Probably not, but I’m being vague on purpose so it’s fine if you think I went off the rails on that part.

03 March Upgrade

MARCH

life upgrade

When I started wakeboarding last November 2013, I was excited but I never expected to be a natural at the sport.  I didn’t expect it to become a fever in my blood either.  After receiving my job promotion as PR & Digital Marketing Officer for both Yabu and Ippudo Philippines, I decided to celebrate and finally upgrade to a better wakeboard set up.

Which brings me to the next month….

04 April Injury

APRIL

setbacks and lesson learned

Picking up where we left off, I upgraded to a new wakeboard set up, started learning how to hit the rails (wakeboard obstacles).  Unfortunately, I injured my right knee on one of those riding sessions.  It was a long and slow road to recovery involving pain, more pain, an MRI scan, several rehab sessions and the worst part?  No wakeboarding until I healed.

I am very thankful to my friend, Louie, who helped me out and took me to the hospital for the MRI scan and rehab sessions, since I couldn’t drive in the early days of the injury. My wakeboard buddy, Jomark, who also skipped riding for 5 long weeks just so I won’t feel so bad about the “suspension” from the wakepark.  Thank you.  You didn’t have to but I really appreciate it.

This is a lesson on not biting off more than what I can chew and to ensure that the odds are in my favor when taking a big risk.  Especially when it involves any of my limbs. haha!

05 May Events

MAY

 most eventful month of the year + birth month

Yes, it has to be a collage because too many awesome things happened on my birth month.

  • 2 birthday parties – 1 fun night out with my cousins and friends at 71 Grammercy for the birthday salubong (thanks ate Mae and kuya Jun!) and 1 house party for the family and more friends.  It was one of my best birthday celebrations by far.
  • Wedding – My cousin finally tied the knot with his long time girlfriend at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.  Part of the reason why we celebrated my birthday twice was due to relatives pouring in from the US and provinces to attend the wedding.
  • First Solo Trip Abroad – I booked round trip tickets to Cambodia and I was surprised when my parents allowed me to go and even gave me pocket money.  It’s my second time in Siem Reap but first time to travel solo and stay in a hostel.  3 words. BEST. TRIP. EVER. ❤

*Bonus – I started riding again this month!*

06 June AWang

JUNE

Indulging on New Things

Yes, I finally have the Alexander Wang Rocco Bag!  It’s not the black one that I’ve always wanted but I love this nonetheless.  It’s one of the earlier designs and my dear friend, JP Singson of JP on Fashion Speed,  decided to sell this because he’s outgrown the design already.

He actually had the Black Diego as well, and I was torn between the black one and the design I wanted.  It was a hard decision to make but I eventually picked the Rocco.  No regrets.

06 June windsurf

I was also lucky to catch the tail end of the windsurfing season with a bunch of friends in Anilao.  We stayed overnight at the Philippines Windsurfing Camp, learned the ropes and had tons of fun before heading back to Manila.

07 July

JULY

Madness, makeup hoarding and a good break

By “madness” I meant makeup induced madness.  I decided to buy 2 MAC paint pots and the Pure Heroine lipstick due to sheer obsession.  What else would trigger that makeup hoarding?   I also got invited to attend the launch of the Beauty Scents outlet store in Paseo de Sta. Rosa, which is one of the biggest events I’ve been invited to since I started blogging.

  Oh, and as if the makeup haul wasn’t enough, I ended up selling my Liquid Force Peak 2013 board and forked out more cash to upgrade to my dream board, the Liquid Force 2014 FLX.

Oh the joy and the madness.

More madness ensues as I plow through piles of paperwork for VISA applications and travel arrangements, which means we need to hop over to…

08 August Kwi

AUGUST

Reunion and fulfillment of a dream destination

Reunited with one of my best friends who currently resides in Vancouver, Kwi!  Thank you for showing me around downtown Vancouver, Gastown and the delicious dinner at Miku.  ❤ Looking forward to your return to MNL!

This trip was whirlwind of surreal and beautiful destinations, but let me leave you with a gorgeous postcard from Tracy Arm, Alaska.

08 August Alaska

I will work on my travel diaries.  I promise.

   09 September

SEPTEMBER

Return to Reality

Yep.  The trip was amazing.  Now make way because I have a bajillion things to do, and I wish I just made that up but I totally didn’t.

I was away for almost 3 weeks for the Alaska trip and I had zero time to spare when I got back because we had to prepare for the grand launch of the first Ippudo store.

I leave you with several food posts and this photo of me with the mandatory cup of coffee taken during the crazy pre-launch days.  At this point, I was trying to shake off my coffee habit, but I couldn’t because I needed the caffeine boost.  I was even reduced to wearing rubber shoes the day before the launch.  I never wear rubber shoes to work.  The intern from the PR company thought I was an intern as well. lolwut, right?  It’s the trainers.  I swear.

10 October

OCTOBER

no rest for the wicked

Yep, work continues to pour in.  After 7 launch parties for Ippudo in Mega Fashion Hall, yes that’s right, 7 as in SEVEN insane parties, we went right back to the drawing board and threw a launch party for the opening of Yabu in Powerplant.  Then the KatsuFor200 a few weeks after.

Rest, is not part of the SHG president’s vocab.

On top of the day job, I also set up a temporary online store for a mini blog sale.  I sold off most of the makeup items that I haven’t used in the past few months….  Or I should probably be honest and admit that I did this to make room for my recent makeup purchases. erm… Yeah, anyway, I was about to say that it was really fun and satisfying to sell them off because I feel bad knowing the makeup is just sitting in the drawer and collecting dust.  I was surprised that I sold almost all of the items and I even earned enough money to get myself a GoPro! ❤

2 birds 1 stone.

I also decided to cut my hair.  Hello lob!  

Oh and yes, I finally landed the Kicker rail this month.  That’s the rail that caused my injury back in April.

11 November

NOVEMBER

retreat, reflect, strategize, and execute

When November kicked in, I couldn’t believe that I was on a 3 week vacation just a few weeks ago.  I felt seriously drained and in need of some time off.  The weekly wakeboarding trips to Pampanga just weren’t cutting it anymore. When my friend Timmy asked me if I would like to go to Sagada with her group of friends, I jumped in head first and said YES!  Then agonized for the next few hours on how to get my boss to approve another leave request from me. haha!

Good thing she approved it so I left for Sagada the next evening.  I love Alaska, I really did.  I also enjoyed my stay in Canada, but Sagada was just off the charts amazing! I enjoyed the physically challenging activities, the awesome food, great company and inner peace.  For the first time in a long time, I felt totally at peace with myself.

I ended up making a decision that I’ve been putting off for a long time.  I’m happy I did.

So what is the decision?

12 December

DECEMBER

closing time

So we’re at the final and present leg of this time capsule.

Before we tackle the heavy stuff, I just want to share that I finally made a separate Instagram account for all my makeup posts.  I’ve accepted the inevitable separation of accounts to keep from spamming my non-makeup-fan followers.

Now, I guess I can no longer delay telling you about it.

This will probably come as a surprise to many of the people I’ve worked with, but I finally bit the bullet and resigned from my current post at Standard Hospitality Group.  I ended my tenure last January 15.

I just want to make it clear, I have nothing against the company.  I loved and enjoyed working for Yabu and Ippudo, and part of me is sad that I will no longer be part of the SHG family and I have to let go of the brands that I handled and helped to build for the past 2 years.  However, I also feel that I’ve done my part and it’s time to move on and begin going after my own dreams instead of making other people’s dreams happen.

It’s finally coming together and I cannot wait to open the next chapter of my life.

2014 taught me a lot of things about myself.  Things I need to change, things I need to relearn and things I need to start doing.

Cheers to a fruitful year filled with friendship, travels, discovery and success.

I am liking you so far, 2015.   Let’s hope this year will be even better than 2014.

xx

Erika

Personal: Quick Update

Hi Everyone!

It’s been another lengthy period of time since my last post and I still find it odd when I realize so much has changed for me since my last post, considering it was only a little over 6 weeks ago.

As with the usual gaps in my blogging, I was going through something but this time it’s because I was struggling with a decision I made and the transition hasn’t been easy.  My preoccupation was what kept me from producing blog content that I was satisfied with and added to a sudden trip out of the country, that pretty much shook me up and I was feeling too off balance to write anything lately.

I’m not being vague on purpose, I guess I’m still digesting this as I type it down;  however, I did open the topic so here it is.  I resigned from my job last December and just finished rendering the required period of time about 2 weeks back.  January was filled with a flurry of activity, trying to tie-up loose ends,  finishing all the required work while working on a freelance project.

You might be wondering why I left a job at a company which is growing at an exponential rate.  I just want to be straight with you and it was more a personal decision than anything else.  I have nothing against the company, on the contrary, I loved working for Yabu and Ippudo Philippines.  It was a rare opportunity working with one of the greatest minds in the business industry and learning from him directly, but I was at a point where I felt like I was at a point in my life where I needed more than what the office job was giving me.

I felt like I was wasting so much time, sitting in an office for 10 hours a day or more, when I actually only spend 2 to 3 hours working.  Imagine what more I could do with my time if I could actually be where I need and want to be.

Aside from the time factor, I’ve been with the company for more than 2 years and I felt like I already learnt what I need to learn and I already gave what I could to the brands I was handling.  Honestly, I feel that way with Yabu;  Ippudo, not quite.  But you can’t exactly drop one brand and keep the other.

It was not an easy decision to make but it felt right.  I was restless in the latter part of 2014, like it was time to take another step towards what I want to achieve in my life but I didn’t quite know if I should take the leap.

A series of events and circumstances made me take a leap of faith, and here I am now.

Where you ask?  Well,  I’m currently unemployed and working on a business that I’m planning to set up with a couple of friends.  I’m also planning several other projects (can’t tell you what, I’m afraid of jinxing myself) that I am hoping will work out against all odds.

If there’s one thing I learned from my previous boss, it’s his favorite adage:

It’s only impossible until you achieve it.

There is no such thing as impossible in this world.  If you want it hard enough and you’re willing to work for it, you will achieve it.

It is easier said than done.  If you think I’m being cavalier about the risks I am taking now, well actually, I am not.  There has been a number of bumps and hiccups along the way but I’m determined to try my best and make my dreams happen.  I’m writing this to remind myself of this and to remember what made me take the leap.

If you are teetering on the edge of a life decision, what would you choose?

A high risk decision that will pay off big time (or fail you big time as well) or stay safe wherever you are now and just be content with what life gives you?

I’m being pushed to stay in a safe place, but I know in my heart, that if I do, I will never be truly happy about my life.  So I took a risk and now I might fail.  But you know what?  I’ll cross that bridge if I have to.  For now, I’m happy knowing I am going after what I want.

xx

Erika

P.S.  I just had to get this off my chest.   I have a review coming up next!

P.P.S.  Yes, one of those projects is for me to blog and review more products and to start making video blogs about beauty and travel.  I am keeping one of those project close to my chest for now.  It’s one of the things I’m most nervous about. haha!

Quick Post: Beauty Blog Extension on Instagram

Hi Everyone!

It’s great to be back to blogging.  Things have been hectic as usual and I am really frustrated that I haven’t been able to blog as often as I want. -_- If you know me personally, then you would have noticed that I’m a makeup hoarder.  I really love to review all the products I’ve been hoarding, but I just do not have time for a long post or to shoot nice photos.

That’s one big factor to my lack of blog posts.  I refuse to post ugly photos on my blog.  By ugly I mean photos that are subpar and shot without adequate light.

Which makes it hard because with my day job, I don’t have a lot of free time to shoot swatches, FOTD’s and MOTD’s.

Then before I know it, new products are old and by the time I can actually shoot and review them, it’s no longer relevant and I’m no longer excited about it.  Ergo, if I write about it, you’ll be able to tell.

Which is why I’ve decided to create a blog extension on instagram.

This way, it’s perfectly fine to post mini reviews and photos shot using a mobile phone. haha!

And you get real time updates too!

You can view my extension at http://instagram.com/itserikaloca/

Here are some of my photos:

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset IMG_7529 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

So yes, all that rant was just to do a shameless instagram plug. hahaha!

*end shameless plug here*

See you guys for a full blown review really soon!

xx

Erika

Christmas Wishlist for 2014

It’s that time of the year again, when Manila traffic gets 10x worse, malls are overrun by demented people doing their Christmas shopping, brands are on sale practically every day and everyone is just panicking about what to give away on Christmas day.

Which is why it’s also time to post a Christmas Wishlist, just because it’s fun and you want to make things easier (or more difficult – depends on how you look at it) for those who intend to give you something for Christmas.

I’m sharing my 2014 wishlist with you guys, just because I feel like it.  No you’re not compelled to get me any of these. Haha!  I actually make this list annually to see if there are things from last year’s list that I’ve crossed out and what I would like to have next, or if there are any that I no longer want.

BUT, I digress.

Let’s start with wakeboarding things:

Wakeboarding items

In case you are astonished, yes, I wakeboard on a regular basis.  Yes, this is why I’m so tanned nowadays.

1. Liquid Force Weekender Wakeboard bag

I’ve been wakeboarding for more or less a year now, but I only ride at least once a week.  Yet, I still do not own a wakeboard bag.  Weird right?  A wakeboard bag fits your board and the binds (the shoes for wakeboarding) and makes carrying your gear easier.  Somehow I never got around to buying one.  I don’t think I need one, but it would be nice to have one.

2. Bern Matte Black Helmet 

I already have a helmet which, in my opinion, makes me look like a Mario character, so I would prefer one with a visor just so I don’t resemble those mushroom-ish characters.

3. & 4 Hyperlite Process Boots and Clear Systems

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you would know that I had these in my wishlist last year too.  I’m updating the model, though again, it’s not a priority.  It would be nice to have one but I don’t really think I need one.  When it comes to wakeboarding, you don’t need top of the line gears to improve.

It wouldn’t hurt to have these though. 😛

Now we’re done with that kinda out of place category, let’s talk about girly things on my list.

Should we start with bags?

Bags

1. Large Givenchy Antigona Conkca Golborne leather in Oxford Black

Sigh.  This is a carry over from last year’s list, but instead of a plain black one, I switched to a three-tone model.  This will be on my list until I get one.  I just know it.  I don’t even care about the fact that everyone and their moms have at least one Antigona in their closet.  HAVE to have one.

2. Phillip Lim Pashli Bag

Another carryover, except they now have one with a sling strap and it’s all black.  So much better IMO.  One large pashli please!

3. Louis Vuitton EPI Petite Malle

The season’s It bag, thanks to Nicolas Ghesquiere, Louis Vuitton’s new creative director.  Even last season’s monogrammed version caught my eye, but if it comes down to just one, I would love to have the black and white one from the Fall 2014 collection. ❤

4. Vintage Chanel Jumbo Quilted Flapbag

Another one of those bags that I will never stop wanting.

“Dear mom,

Please put me out of my misery and get me this for Christmas.

love,

Erika “

If you think we’re done with accessories, think again.

J Makitalo Jewelry

One of the Filipino designers that I really admire is Joyce Makitalo.  I met her at an event back when I was still working in Mega and I just love how she layers her necklaces, usually the pieces are from her own collections.

I stalked her instagram and picked out the ones that calls to me.

Aren’t her pieces gorgeous?

Definitely worth investing on!

Last but not the least, we have beauty products!  Don’t be surprised if it’s only a small number.  Most of the holiday sets don’t really tickle my fancy, and the ones I do like, I’ve already snapped up. haha!

So here are some beauty stuff that are available year-round and locally.  This might even give you ideas on what to give to your makeup loving friends.

makeup and beauty blog dot com

photo from makeupandbeautyblog.com

MAC Strobe Cream

I know I know, it’s another MAC product, but how can you not love MAC when they come up with amazing things like this?  This is a moisturizer + highlighter in one.  It will breathe life into dull skin and make you look alive and glowing.

You apply this like you would a moisturizer and apply makeup on top.  The shimmery particles in it will make your makeup base luminous.

non optional blogspot

photo from non-optional.blogspot.com

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate

This French moisturizer has a cult following for good reason. Or should I say reasons? It’s not just a moisturizer, it also works as a primer and makeup remover.  The famous Samantha Chapman of the Pixiwoo sisters swears by this moisturizer, and one of these days I will definitely give it a try.

Having dry skin, I am in constant need of a decent moisturizer.

makeup-artist-zoe-bag-l-01 zoeva site

ZOEVA The Bag Brush Set

I CAN’T EVEN.

JUST LOOK AT HOW GORGEOUS THOSE BRUSHES ARE.  THERE ARE 24 OF THEM IN ONE SET.

I DIE.

Give me this for Christmas and I will love you forever and ever and everrrr.

Okay maybe not, but you get the point.

——————

So that’s it for this year’s list!  I’m not actually expecting anyone to get me any of these, I just really enjoy making lists.  I like giving myself a good incentive to work hard. haha!  So this should be a pretty good inspiration for 2015.

Cheers!

Erika

Gastronomy: Mad For Pizza

I always forget about food when I start talking and writing about makeup.

Every now and then I snap out of the haze and pay attention to what I am eating. 😛

Today, we’re going to talk about pizza.   Yes, pizza.

I mean, why not?  Everybody loves pizza.  Especially when you get to pick the toppings that goes to your pie crust.

Enter picture, Mad For Pizza:

MFP

photo from Mad For Pizza Facebook Page

Mad For Pizza (MFP) is a casual restaurant located in Il Terrazo, QC.

MFP 2

The place has simple interiors and casual ambiance that will make you feel at ease once you step inside.

MFP 3

Right upon entering, you will see their pizza bar and the list of their ingredients posted above the counter.

MFP 4

You can have all 100++ ingredients in one pizza for only P280.00

No, I’m not kidding, and yes they have bleu cheese.  Your eyes are not deceiving you.

Mad For Pizza also have other items on the menu like rice meals, appetizers and even regular pizza items.  But hey, you can’t come here and not have the DIY pizza.  I’m kidding, but I’m pretty sure you get the point.

MFP 5

They have a pretty extensive drink menu.  You can order margaritas, cocktails, imported and local beer from the bar.

MFP 6

Here’s a view of the restaurant from the bar area.

MFP 7

I also checked the pizza bar before ordering my own DIY pizza.

MFP 8

MFP 9

So many ingredients! 😮 If my friend wasn’t with me, I would have taken forever to pick the toppings.

MFP 10

Please don’t ask me what was on my pizza.  Diane and I picked so many ingredients I can’t even remember anymore. Haha!  I do remember that they will ask you pick your choice of crust, and we picked the herb parmesan crust.

MFP 11

I think kuya was laughing because there’s waaaay too many toppings on my pizza.  That or he enjoys making pizza a lot.  I choose to believe the latter.

MFP 12

While waiting for the pizza to be baked, they served the other items.   This is the beef stew pasta.  It’s only 198.00 and it is good enough to be shared between two people.

This is a really unique pasta dish, and I’ve never tried anything quite like it.

Think of your regular beef stew, made a little richer and with more tomatoes and ground beef instead of meat chunks.  Add pasta and that’s pretty much what this dish is like.

I’m not a big pasta fan, so I didn’t have high expectations from it, but I actually liked this dish.  It’s very tasty and it has a generous amount of ground meat so it doesn’t feel like you’re just eating pasta with the sauce.  I hate the feeling of eating pasta without any toppings, and this one sure didn’t lack in toppings.

The sauce to pasta ratio was on point too.

This is perfect for those who want to to try a different pasta dish but isn’t into the usual marina pasta sauce.

MFP 13

Then the Buffalo wings arrived and I just goggled at how huge the serving was. 😮  That order was only P268.00 but there’s actually half a kilo of chicken in there.  Talk about value for money!

MFP 14

I don’t like spicy food so I wasn’t keen on trying this, but I sort of had to because Diane wouldn’t be able to finish it.

It wasn’t spicy at all so I enjoyed eating this.  If you do want your wings to be flaming hot, I’m sure you can ask them to make it extra spicy.

As for me, I like it just the way it is.  The chicken was fried perfectly and it is very juicy and flavorful.  You just can’t go wrong with chicken wings.

MFP 15

Say hello to Diane and her humongous frozen iced tea.  The iced tea was really good!  MFP makes their own iced tea and I’m pretty sure they put a generous amount of honey in that drink.  It’s sooo good, I’d go back just for their iced tea!  I can’t believe it’s only P88.00!

Oh, before I forget, I did Diane’s makeup in this photo.  She’s my favorite makeup canvas and it works out because I love doing her makeup and she doesn’t mind me putting makeup on her whenever she sleepover at my place. 😉

MFP 16

This is me, with my equally humongous margarita.  This was good too! I think it was only P120.00

I couldn’t finish it because I have really low tolerance for alcohol and I still had to drive back home after eating. MFP 17

The pizza finally arrived!

sorry, the pasta looks like a mess already.  We got really hungry waiting for the pizza so we started eating because it takes about 10 minutes for them to prepare the pizza.

MFP 18

Looks good doesn’t it?

I love MFP’s pizza crust!  It’s very thin and crunchy but it’s not oily or soggy.  I don’t know how they achieve that feat, considering the amount of stuff they allow you to schlep on your pizza. It’s also great that you can choose the type of crust that you want.  (they have herb, parmesan and plain)

Diane and I really enjoyed our pizza and see that whole pie up there? It was gone in minutes!

I think Mad For Pizza is a great pizza place, even for vegetarians because they can pick out their ingredients.

I’d totally recommend it if you’re looking for a new place to try with your friends.

I’d advise you to skip the desserts though.

MFP 19

I was excited to try the Banoffee cubbler and Panna cotta because I was assuming that they will have good desserts as well.

Sadly, both the cubbler and panna cotta fell short from the mark.

The banoffee cubbler was so sweet, it was like someone dumped a  jar of sugar in it.  I wish they can adjust the sweetness and freeze it before serving.  I think that will make this dessert a lot better.

I love panna cotta even though I’ve had my fair share of flop pannacotta orders.  This was definitely a flop.  It was very watered down and it was even more jiggly than gulaman.   Granted, this is really cheap at P88.00 but I would rather pay more than get this really watered down jelly.  Skip these, you’re better off ordering the shakes.

Other recommendations:

Tennesee pork spare ribs and Amboy Angus Beef Belly in Adobo sauce – I went back with my parents a few weeks back and ordered these to share.  Both were pretty good and worth ordering again.

Overall:

I think this is a good place to dine in with a big group of friends because they can easily accommodate big groups.  The food is pretty good and they have generous serving size at affordable prices.  Just avoid the desserts and stick to the beverages if you want something sweet.

Service is okay, but the servers tend to be a inattentive even though the place isn’t very crowded.

That’s it for today guys.

I’m working on a beauty post next, so do stay tuned for that one.

Thanks for dropping by!

xx

Erika

Canada x Alaska Travel Beauty Haul

  Hi everyone!

I’m so excited to share this HUGE HUGE haul with you guys.  I went on a trip to Canada and Alaska last August and I have to admit that I sort of went crazy with the makeup shopping.  On a side note, I can’t believe that it’s been more than two months since the trip!  Time is seriously flying by!

Back to the haul, here’s a peek at the massive, wallet burning haul.Primary Collective

I know.  I feel guilty just looking at it.

Okay, maybe not. haha!

But hey, in my defense, I only splurge like this on trips because I’m on a trip.  I mean, how many times do you get to visit Canada or Alaska in a lifetime?  Right?  Besides the travel factor, I always look for hard to find items or good deals.  In this haul, I’m including some gifts, good drugstore and beauty outlet deals a plus a Canadian brand you can’t get anywhere else.

Let’s start with the Sonia Kashuk 15th Anniversary Limited Edition brush set from Target.

SK 1

I didn’t know about this brush set until I was in Canada already.  That means the collection has been out for almost a month by the time I heard about it.  I thought I wouldn’t be able to get a set anymore, and almost almost caved and ordered a set from an online store here in Manila.

Good thing my friend who lives in Canada was able to nab a set for me 2 days before I left for Manila.

You might be wondering, what’s so bad about ordering this locally…

Well, this set is USD 39.99 or CAD 39.99 plus tax.  Mine was about CAD 50.00, which is roughly P2000.00 in the current exchange rate.

The online sellers were selling this for P5000.00, which is 2.5 times the original price.  CRAZY.

sk 2

But it’s so pretty I would have paid P5000.00 for it.  Good thing I didn’t have to.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the next item.

Hourglass

Everyone and their moms have been raving about Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders, so when Hourglass came out with a palette, Hourglass fans got even crazier.  The Sephora exclusive palette is now a permanent in their line and they even came up with a customizable palette for the ambient lighting powders and the blushes.

To be honest, I wasn’t convinced about these powders, no matter how many rave reviews I’ve read or watched on Youtube.  I’ve had this for a couple of months and I’ve been using it on and off.  So far, I am very unimpressed.  I don’t mind spending a good amount of money on makeup, so long as it delivers, but in this case, I can’t justify the fact that this palette is almost USD 60.00 and costs P3500.00 if bought from local online stores.

I’ll be posting a full rant/review when I find the time.

And no, I am NOT getting the blush palette.

Joe Fresh Collective

.I researched about beauty brands I should try in Canada and Joe Fresh was the one that caught my eye.  The liquid lipstick, lip balm, mousse blush, mat lipstick, and cream blush looked really promising in the reviews.  The packaging is also nice and really emulates a “fresh” look.  Very brand appropriate.

You can only get these products in Joe Fresh stores, Canadian Superstore or Loblaws.

  I dropped by the Joe Fresh store in Robson Street at downtown Vancouver and made a trip to the Superstore near Richmond just to get these.  They were in the middle of restocking during my visit so some items were out of stock and a lot of them were on sale.  I did get the items I wanted and some other things on sale.

Let me show you the items I got.

Joe Fresh Cream Blush

I’ve been obsessed with cream blushes lately and these were on sale so I got all the shades they had.  Great deal at CAD 3.95 each!  I haven’t played with these yet, but I’m currently testing the dark red shade on the left.  It works well with my tan and as a lip tint.

Review to be posted as soon as I get to try all the shades.

Joe Fresh Matte Lipsticks

Matte Lipsticks were CAD 6.00 each.  I had a hard time picking colors because they had so many shades and they even have ones with satin finish.

I picked up 3 colors, Bordeaux (dark berry at the back), Raspberry (bright red) and Mocha(nude).

The formula is very light and comfortable on the lips, pigmentation is incredible too.  Love these!

Joe Fresh Mousse Blush

Mousse Blush in Rose and Melon

CAD 6.00 each

They had 6 shades but I picked the 2 most delicious colors.  I say delicious because looking at the tubs makes me want to scoop them out.  They look like ice cream!

Jury is out on these.  I went on a blush splurge on this trip and it’s taking me a while to try everything.  *oops*

Joe Fresh Plum Prune

Joe Fresh Liquid Lipstick – these were CAD 6.00 each, and hands down, this is one of the best liquid lipsticks I’ve tried.  Very similar texture to the limited edition creme de mat from Lancome.

Can you blame me for getting a back up tube? haha!  This is in the shade Plum or Prune.  Most of the shades were in pinky nudes and brights.  This was the only shade that I would actually wear.

Joe Fresh powder blush

The lone powder blush in the rack.  I love the sleek clear plastic packaging.

This was a total steal at CAD 3.00!

I wasn’t able to photograph the Bronzer duo on it’s own, and the nail polish is in a separate photo at the end of this post.  Needless to say, I really hoarded Joe Fresh makeup on this trip. :))

I totally recommend checking out this brand if you ever find yourself in Canada.

MAC haul

But of course, a trip to Canada won’t be complete without MAC!

I am a self-confessed MAC girl, so this shouldn’t be a surprise.

I found the elusive MAC Harmony blush and the limited edition Lingering Kiss lipstick in MAC Eaton Centre for CAD 22.00 and CAD 18.00 respectively.  Contrary to popular belief, MAC is not cheap in Canada.  It’s actually more expensive to buy it there because they have 14% sales tax for retail items.

The good thing was we went to an outlet shopping center near Toronto and there was this beauty outlet store that sells MAC at lower prices.  They don’t have the whole line, just a couple items from the permanent line and a whole bunch of stuff from previous limited edition collections.

I got the Mineralized Skinfinish in Medium Dark and MAC Soft Sand Bronzer from the Hey! Sailor collection 1 or 2 years ago I think? Both were only CAD 29.00 each :0  I wanted to get more stuff but we went there on our last day in Canada (which means I am almost out of cash! haha!) so I had to pare down my purchases and ended up with these two.

The paint pots (Quite Natural and Layin’ Low) were purchased right before I left for the trip, so I decided to include them anyway. haha!

MAC Lipsticks

Oh, new MAC lipsticks.  You make my heart flutter. haha!

MAC lipsticks 2

Three out of 5 were gifts to me.  I bought Lingering Kiss and Pure Heroine myself.  I am on the fence about keeping the Viva Glam Rihanna and Please Me.   Don’t get me wrong, the colors are nice and I actually wanted to buy these shades before they were gifted to me.  But after trying them a couple times, the colors just don’t sit well with me.

Hmm. We’ll see.

Is it weird if I get excited over drugstore makeup?

milani

Because I feel seriously giddy over these Milani baked blushes.

Milani 2

Gorgeous aren’t they?  These are very pigmented and easy to blend on the cheeks.  The colors are gorgeous too!  My favorite is Bellarosa and Red Vino.

I’m seriously kicking myself for putting off buying these.  These are amaaaazing.  The quality is very much at par with MAC Mineralize blushes at just a quarter of the price.

If you’ve been on the fence about getting these, I highly recommend that you go over that fence and buy one already.  You won’t regret it!

rimmel haul

You’re probably thinking crazy Rimmel lady right when you saw this photo.

Rimmel is one of my favorite drugstore brands, and it totally sucks that it’s so hard to find a local online store that stocks Rimmel.  Good thing they were having a sale when I went to superdrug in TO.  Hooooarded lipsticks like nobody’s business.

Rimmel lipsticks

See what I mean?

rimmel lippies

But the colors are just too gorgeous!  Compared to other lipsticks in similar price range, Rimmel beats the other brands by miles when it comes to quality, texture and staying power.

I love my MAC lipsticks but man, these are awesome for P200.00++ per tube.

I did a full review on the Rimmel 107 matte lipstick in my previous post, just in case you want to check it out. 🙂

 rimmel brow pencil

I also got a couple of other items from Rimmel, like this eyebrow pencil.  This is the perfect ashy brown pencil for my brows!  Got these at CAD 4.99 because of the sale.

rimmel wakemeup foundation

Been hearing nothing but good reviews about this foundation so I decided to give it a try.  This wasn’t on sale so it was CAD 13.99.  Quite expensive for a drugstore foundation, but if it does turn out to be a good dupe for the YSL Touche Eclat foundation, it’s actually a pretty good deal.

rimmel wakemeup foundation 2

They have a limited shade range though, so you’re lucky if you have a match for your skintone.

I got the True Nude shade which is a little gray-toned for me.  Will use it some more before doing a full review.

apocalips

The Rimmel Apocalips is another one of the brand’s seriously raved about product.  I’m not a big lip gloss fan so I only got one shade to try.  This is CAD 4.99 (sale again) in the shade Galaxy.

Full review soon.

samples

Sample and travel size products

I got the MAC moisturizer in Eaton Centre for CAD 12.00 🙂  They also had pigments, mascaras and lipglass in small sizes.

The other samples in the photo came with the Hourglass and Caudalie travel kit I ordered from Sephora.

 caudalie travel set

Speaking of which, here’s the Caudalie travel kit.  Great deal at USD 32.00!  It has my favorite beauty elixir, cleansing water, moisturizer, hand cream and lip balm.

This set is a Sephora exclusive.

Clinique

Clinique was sooooo cheap on board the cruise ship so I decided to get the All About Eyes eye cream.  USD 27.00 only! 😮

I was tempted to get a backup of the DDL moisturizer but I haven’t touched this new bottle a friend got me from Korea yet, so I held back and included it in the photo instead.

eos

Technically, I didn’t buy these on the trip.  I bought them on a recent S&R sale and I freaking love them!  I think they still have this in S&R stores.  P799.00 or P749.00 for all 5.

Oh, you’re welcome.

Great Lash

Ah, the world famous Maybelline Great Lash Mascara.  I’ve been putting off purchasing this iconic product for yeeears.  I tried it recently and it is mind bogglingly good!  Now I know why it’s one of the fastest selling mascaras worldwide.

I hoarded the remaining waterproof variants from the superdrug stores near our hotel. HOHO.

Did I mention that they were only CAD 3.99 each?

Oh, here’s a little something from Alaska.

GS Soap 1

Glacier silt soap!  Glacier silts are the sand particles in the glaciers.  These are seriously fine granules of sand that gives the glaciers a grayish tinge.  When the glaciers melt during the summer, it also releases the silts into bodies of water.

The silts are so fine that you can’t see it in the soap.

GS Soap 2

This was supposed to be USD 10.00 but I got it on sale in Ketchikan for USD 8.00 🙂

They have so many variants for the scent, but I picked Sea Pickle because the others were mostly floral and fruity scents.

One of the locals said this soap is a very gentle exfoliator due to the silts.

We shall see.  It looks like it will melt very quickly though. haha!

Unto my last few drugstore finds:

loreal

L’oreal Voluminous Carbon Black mascara – my lashes don’t really agree with L’oreal mascaras, but I’ve heard so many good things about this mascara that I just have to give it a try.

Picked up random eyeliners too!  The blue one is gorgeous! ❤

manic panic ultraviolet

Want to dye your hair purple?  Don’t panic, we have Manic Panic! haha!  Sorryyyyy, I couldn’t resist!

I finally got my hands on this hair dye!  This is ultraviolet and it looks much more violently purple in person.  I don’t know why it looks blue in the photo.

nail polish

I love Revlon topcoats! Especially the quick dry one.  It’s no longer available in Manila so yes, I had to buy 4 bottles when I was in Canada.  I also found a bottle of the Essie bar glitter top coat, and two Joe Fresh nail polish.

This is a very restrained nail polish haul.  Believe me.

I got some clothes and shoes from the outlet stores in Toronto, but it’s probably better if I don’t include them here.  I feel like I’ve been typing about this haul forever. haha!

So let’s end this with a shot of the souvenirs I got from the 3-week vacation

random alaska stuff

I collect pins like the ones you see in the photo.  It started when I went on a Eurotrip.  I pin them all on a military green beret, which is now seriously heavy. haha!

I also got a hackysack and a mug with a pop out moose and “I Moose Have My Coffee” quote.  I thought it was really funny. :))

So that’s it for this super huge and long haul post.  I felt it was neveeeer gonna end.

I’ve been super busy since I got back and there’s barely been enough time to just sit down and test my new babies.

I really am trying to post more often lately, and I have draft posts for the reviews on the way, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Until my next post!

XX

Erika

Review: Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick in 107

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I love makeup.   That goes without saying.  But as much as I refuse to go out of the house without doing my eyebrows, I think you can’t have a complete makeup look without lipstick.

In my opinion, lipsticks can make or break your whole makeup lookIt can even make a simple shirt and jeans outfit look chic and effortless.  But what’s even more amazing about lipsticks is that even if it’s the only makeup you’re wearing, it can brighten up your face.

This is probably why I always get excited about new lip products.  Whenever MAC comes up with a new collection, I always check the lipsticks first.  Same goes for drugstore brands.  I’ve been watching a lot of beauty reviews on Youtube lately and in the past few months, I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate lipsticks. I’ve tried a lot of drugstore lip products, and at first, I thought it’s just another one of those low quality lipsticks.  But boy, was I wrong.  I’ve been using several shades but today, I’m reviewing my favorite shade.

PrimaryRimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick in 107

107 is a beautiful berry-toned lipstick with a violet undertone.  It is a bright violet-red shade which is slightly dampened by the matte finish.  It’s fascinating how Rimmel created a bright lip color and dulled it a bit with the flat matte finish.  I think it’s purrrfection.

I tend to go for extremes when it comes to lipstick shades.  Brights, dark, and nudes.  Usually in berry, purple, red and brown color family.  I love purple lipsticks as much as I avoid pink ones. *shudder*

 107 is a shade that is smack dab between bright and dark.  It’s the kind of color that can brighten up your everyday look without making you look overly made up.  For special occasions, use this in place of your usual red lipsticks.  It’s not a huge deviation from red but it is a nice change.

If you like your lipsticks on the shiny side, you can always add clear gloss on top.

I’m partial to matte lipsticks and this color is right up my alley, so I’m sure I will be using this lipstick as it is.

1

The color is just perfect for fall!

I like to wear this color with minimal makeup.  For this look, I just blended a neutral brown eyeshadow on my crease and used brown and blue eyeliners. You can’t see it clearly in this photo but I actually have cobalt blue eyeliner on top of my usual brown wing tip.  It’s barely visible unless you’re staring at me face-to-face. 😛  For my cheeks, I swapped my usual MAC Lovejoy blush with Milani Bellarosa;  the pink blush complements the berry tone of the lipstick better than the earthy brown/red of Lovejoy.

2

I love how the blush pops just enough to enhance the lip color.

It is a lovely shade, no?

3

Rimmel 107 lasting finish by kate lipstick on my lips after 4 hours of wear, no lipliner or retouching

So why do I love this lipstick?  Well for starters, it’s inexpensive but the quality is amazing!  The lipstick glides on your lips like a dream, leaving a full sweep of opaque color.  It has a very light, pleasantly floral fragrance that reminds me of Lancome lipsticks.  The texture of the lipstick is very nice too.  It’s smooth and creamy but feels very light on the lips.

Did I mention the incredible staying power?  Without lip liner, it stays on the lips for about 4 to 6 hours without slipping around. I did a wear test and while there was some color transfer when I ate, the stain on my lips were even and looked decent enough after I ate my lunch.

Even my favorite MAC lipsticks aren’t as good as this, and that’s saying something because I l-o-v-e my MAC lipsticks.

I’ll do a round up post of my Rimmel lipstick collection soon.  🙂

Let me know what you think of Rimmel 107 in the comments section, or if there’s a shade that you want me to review.

Thanks for dropping by!

xx

Erika

Product Directory:

I got this lipstick during a trip to Toronto for CAD 4.99 🙂  

I also remember getting a box of 4 different shades during a Cebu Pacific flight for USD 20.00.  If you’re not flying with them anytime soon, you can get your Rimmel lipsticks from @polishedinthecity (instagram)

Round Up: 6 Desert Island Beauty Products

This is gonna be a short post.

I was thinking of posting this on Instagram, but it seems too long to include my short reviews as well.  So, if you came from my instagram page, here are the full details on my top 6 holy grail beauty products.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

(left to right: Joe Fresh Mousse Blush in Rose || Milani Baked Blush in Bellarosa || Dollywink Brow Tint in Dark Cocoa || Heroine Make Long & Curl Waterproof Mascara )

(Top to Bottom: Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes pencil eyeliner in 2L Pearly Brown || Happy Skin Eye Love Brow 2-in-1 brow pen and pencil)

I swear by these 6 products!

I call them desert island in reference to a beauty tag, it’s a tag wherein you have to pick a small number of beauty products that you would take with you if you’re stuck in a desert.  It doesn’t make sense to want makeup if you’re stranded in a desert, but let’s not take it too seriously, yeah?

Moving on! I reach for these products everyday, especially when I only have a few minutes to do my makeup, or a really busy day.

Here’s a rundown and mini reviews on the products I have up there:

  • Most days I layer the Joe Fresh mousse blush and the Milani baked blush in Bellarosa.  If I’m in a terrible rush like I was today, I just use the Milani blush.
  •  Brows are an absolute must and this 2-in-1 brow pen from Happy Skin is amazing! I find the liquid brow pen a tad too light and yellow for me, but the pencil  is the perfect ashy brown shade for me.  The hardness of the pencil is good too.  It’s not too soft that you end up overdrawing your brows, but it’s soft enough that it makes drawing your brows effortless.
  • I always always finish off my brows with the Dollywink brow tint in dark cocoa. My brows are not complete without this product! ❤️  It lightens my brow hair so it pops against the pencil, the end result makes it look like I drew my brows strand by strand.  I’ve tried Mac brow set, but I think this is better and more pigmented.  The best part? It’s about half the price of the Mac brow set.
  • Most mascaras cannot hold the curl of my lashes, but this Long & curl mascara from Heroine Make is one of those rare few that does the job for me. Amazeballs!
  • Last but not the least, Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes pencil liner. Doesn’t smudge or budge once it sets.  This is really creamy and pigmented, so it’s a breeze to line your eyes with this.

 

All of these products are long lasting as well.  I have long work hours (around 10 to 12 hours/day) and I rarely feel the need to retouch my makeup.

I didn’t include any lip product because in the rare cases that I only have 5 minutes to do my makeup, it also means I’m so busy I can’t be bothered to think about lipstick, much less retouch when I need to.  On the other, whenever I do my makeup, my look is usually based on what would look good with my lipstick choice.  But that is a topic for another post. 😉

So that’s it for my desert island beauty picks.

Let me know if you want to see my picks for nails, lip products and skincare too. ❤

xx

Erika

disclaimer: all products are mine and bought with my own money unless indicated otherwise.  All reviews and opinions are my own.

Product directory:

1. Joe Fresh Mousse Blush – bought in Real Superstore Canada (8.00 CAD)

2. Milani Baked Blush – bought this on a blog sale but you can get one from Stuff In Style for P400.00

3. Dolly Wink Brow Tint – bought mine in HK for HKD 70.00 but I think you can get this from Taste Central, select SM Department stores as well as Pure Beauty stores.  You can also follow them on instagram for more details. (@dollywinkphilippines)

4. Heroine Make Long & Curl mascara – again, got this in HK last Januaray for HKD 55.00 at Bonjour, but if you’re not making a trip to HK anytime soon, you can also get this at Watsons.  It’s P595.00 here. (@heroinemakeph)

5. Make Up For Ever Eyeliner – I got this as a gift so I’m not sure how much it is.  You can get MUFE products in their stores (SM Mega Fashion Hall and SM Aura Premier) (@makeupforeverphilippines)

6. Happy Skin Eye Love Brow 2-in-1 pen – You can get Happy Skin products online on their site or their booths in Plains & Prints stores, Beauty Bar & Rustan’s.