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.

face

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.

group

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

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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

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

3

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.

Now Open – Beauty Scents Outlet Store

BS Products Primary

Hi guys, today I have an exciting news to share with all of you!  Beauty Scents Outlet store, the first outlet store for designer perfume and luxury beauty products, opened its doors in Paseo de sta. Rosa last July 31, 2014.

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photo from twatome.com

Beauty Scents carries  limited edition makeup and skin care products from premium beauty brands like Dior and Guerlain.  They even have a selection of nail polish from Dior and selected items from Japanese brands, Za and Majolica Majorca.  They didn’t have a lot of beauty items when they opened over a month ago, but I heard they will be stocking Givenchy and Benefit products eventually.

I’ve been checking their instagram account (@beautyscentsph) for updates and they seem to be stocking up on Dior and Guerlain products. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for the arrival of Givenchy and Benefit in Beauty Scents.

Now if you’re a perfume person, you better brace yourself (and your bank account) when you visit because they have a really extensive selection of luxury perfumes for both men and women.  They have everything from the classic perfume brands like Bvlgari, Issey Miyake, Guerlain and limited edition lines from Ferrari, Porsche, John Galliano and more.  Like waaay more.

Let me give you a virtual tour of the place.

Beauty Scents 1

The view from the second floor.

Beauty scents 2

Right after the ribbon cutting ceremony, we all swarmed in and checked out the place.  Everyone was really busy trying on perfumes here.

Beauty Scents 6

One of the tables was set up as a makeup over counter for Za and Majolica Majorca.  The other side was reserved for those who want to get a luxe 15-minute facial using Guerlain skincare products.

BS Products 4

I just love love loooove the packaging for Guerlain products!  I was really tempted to get a facial but I decided to pass because I didn’t feel like removing my makeup and have it made up again before meeting my friends later in the evening.

After spying on the makeover counter, I looked around the shop to check the makeup selection.

Of course I had to check the makeup first. haha!

BS Products 8

They don’t have a lot of Guerlain items yet.  Most of the ones they have are limited edition items and basics like foundation and eyeliner.

BS Products 9

Discounted Za skincare items anyone?

BS Products 5

A closer look at the Za and Majolica Majorca testers

Beauty Scents carry almost all of the products from Za, Shiseido and Majolica Majorca, but the prices are much lower than the mall price.  So if you’re thinking of getting something from these brands, you might want to check first if they have it before heading to the mall.

If you can’t go to Laguna, you can inquire and order online.  Just call them at 0998-555-4188 to inquire about shipping fees and product availability.

BS Products 3

BS Products 6

They have a lot of Dior Addict lip products and skincare at huge discounts.

BS Products 7

Oh, let’s not forget about the nail polish.  I’m a sucker for nail polish so I had to keep away from this area.  Too much temptation! haha!

To keep myself from going on a makeup shopping spree, I started checking the perfumes section.

Beauty Scents 3

This is the area reserved for items with the biggest discounts.  I can spot Lady Gaga’s Fame perfume, Ferrari, Issey Miyake, and Salvatore Ferregamo.

Beauty Scents 4

Bvlgari heaven!

BS Products 1

This set is perfect if you want to try all of the Bvlgari Omnia perfumes

Beauty Scents 7

This is the center table, which is the first thing  you’ll see when you enter the store.  They reserve this area for new arrivals and perfume sets from Jean Paul Gaultier, Bvlgari, Narciso Rodriguez,  and a lot of Issey Miyake.

BS Products Primary

During the event, Beauty Scents had a 1 hour Snap & Share period for their guests, and they told us that we get to take home 1 product of our choice after sharing a photo of the product online.

It was a really sweet gesture.  One that made me crazy for about an hour because I couldn’t decide between my favorite from the makeup section and the perfume section. Until finally I opted to let go of the makeup  since it’s been quite some time since the last I bought perfume.

I’m betting you can’t guess what it is, so I’ll show you instead.

photo 2

Yep. It’s the Bvlgari Aqua Marine for men, and no I’m not pulling your leg.

I have a secret love affair with men’s perfume and this. OMG.  THIS is my absolute favorite.  I have been seriously obsessed with this perfume since for-freaking-ever!

It’s not overly manly, so I can actually get away with wearing it.  It’s a really fresh and crisp scent that makes me want to take a good long whiff whenever I smell it.

Yes, I’m that obsessed with this perfume.  I’m so happy that the one I got comes with a travel-sized bottle and bath gel.  Just the 100mL bottle alone is around 6k in department stores, but the Bvlgari Aqua set is only 3-4k in Beauty Scents, which is a seriously awesome deal because this perfume smells so damn good.

I just had to say it again. OK. Fan girl moment ends here…. for now.

Beauty Scents 5

They have this small area for items that are very limited in stock and most of the items are from Guerlain.

BS Products 2

Isn’t this such a gorgeous color? ❤

photo 1

This bronzer compact is just too beautiful. I was thinking of getting this instead of the Bvlgari perfume, but I just know I will feel bad about using it.  I mean, look at it!  Doesn’t it make you feel horrible just thinking of using it and destroying the beautiful design?

Guerlain, whyyyy do you have to make your makeup look so pretty?   It’s so not fair!

I had to wrench myself away from this beauty to avoid further temptation and have my photo taken outside the store instead.

  photo 3

In case you’re curious, yes, I do like boys men who smell good.  Hello, I even picked a guy’s perfume for myself, so future boyfriend,  you better tuck this information in your head.  Haha! :p

photo 4

    Here’s another photo of me with Lacar of  The Asian Parent Philippines. 🙂  We used to be officemates a couple of years back, and we haven’t seen each other since.  We had a nice time catching up in between makeup and perfume testing during the event.

We both had to catch the van going back to the city so we left shortly after this photo was taken.

Congratulations Beauty Scents for thte successful launch and opening of your first branch here in the Philippines!

I’ll definitely drop by again as soon as the other brands starts arriving. 🙂

Did you see anything you like?

Follow Beauty Scents on Facebook and Instagram for more information and updates.

xx

Erika

May-June 2014 Favorites: Beauty and Non Beauty

Hi everyone!

It’s been so long since I had the chance to just sit down and write about things.  I haven’t been able to post as much as I want to because May and June was a lot busier than I expected it to be and most of my free time are restricted to weekends.  For the past 2 months, most of those weekends were crammed full of errands, work, a wedding  here, a trip abroad there, my birthday, aaand wakeboarding.

Did I mention that I reeeeally love May 2014?  Too bad my birth month is already over and June just ended <insert horrified where-did-the-time-go gasp here>. BUT that doesn’t mean the fun has to be over, which leads me to my favorites for the months of May and June.  I thought I should combine the two since I pretty much used the same stuff for both months.  But this time I’m throwing in a couple of techie items and bath products with the beauty stuff.  Just because.

So let’s start with the beauty items shall we?

01 Primary

I tried real hard to fit all of my favorites in this bowl and I succeeded.  At least for the beauty items.

These are all summer favorites and guaranteed that they can stand and last despite the heat.  I have so much love for the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation and MAC Magically Cool Liquid Powder.  ❤  Oh and yes, those are cream blushes.  I mentioned these in my last post and I actually fell in love with them so here they are.  More deets below!

02 Products

1. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel with SPF 30 PA+++

I have dry skin so I’m okay with heavy moisturizers, but during the summer, I prefer gel moisturizers.   It has a cooling effect on your skin and it gets absorbed so quickly which feels refreshing to me.  It also has SPF 30 so it’s perfect for when you’re going to be outdoors for a couple of hours.

The best part?  It won’t make you feel sticky even when you’re sweating profusely.  I can guaran-damn-ty it since I brought this to my solo trip in Siem Reap over a month ago and I can attest to the fact that this will reduce oiliness and that sticky feeling despite the intense heat.

2. Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation in BE-01

I’ve heard a lot of good things about this foundation, and although I am not big on foundations, I decided to give it a try.  Beauty Bar had my shade and it was 45% off (from P2750.00 – P1450.00) so how could I resist?

I’ve been using this for almost a month and I can easily say that it’s one of the best foundations I’ve ever used.  And mind you, I’ve tried quite a lot of foundations. 

This is watery and very light on the skin.  It feels like you don’t have anything on your face, which is what I love the most about it.  It has medium to heavy coverage, and sets really fast.  I find that I don’t even have to use a setting powder for this because it makes your skin feel smooth and silky once it dries. The best part?  It has a luminous finish.  It’s not shimmery but it makes your skin look like it’s glowing.

It’s perfect for events because it’s practically sweat proof and photographs so well.  Plus points because it doesn’t melt, cake or smudge even when it’s so hot and you’re sweating buckets.

I highly suggest checking the Beauty Bar near you and nab a bottle of this foundation if they still have your shade. You won’t regret it.

3. MAC Magically Cool Powder in Truth and Light

03 MAC powder

How much do I love this powder?  I cannot quantify it.  This is just mind-bogglingly awesome and perfect for setting any type of makeup base.  I like my skin to have a bit of glow in it though, so if you’re after a totally matte finish, you might not like this.

I have a foundation that looks too matte after I set it with the Ben Nye Banana powder, and only this powder sets it without making my face look flat out matte.

It’s quite expensive but you know how MAC products are.  A little goes a long looong way and it will totally give you your money’s worth.

Yeah, yeah, I love MAC.  Sue me. 😛

4. Revlon Skinlights Face Illuminator in Bronze Light

This is like self tanner for the face and highlighter in one bottle.  It won’t stay on all day but it is definitely beautiful.

I started using this back in May when my arms and body were tanned but my face was starting to go back to my original skintone.  Now, I’m super tanned again so I just use this to give my face a little bronzy glow. 

Don’t you just love that healthy glow you get when you’re tan?  It makes me sad when I apply foundation because while it evens out my skintone, it also conceals that beautiful glow on your skin.  Using this illuminator gives me some of that glow back so I don’t have to fret about using foundation. 🙂

04 cream blushes

5. Revlon Cream Blush in Coral Reef & 6. Bourjois Cream blush in Pink Sunwear

Ahhhh, cream blushes.  I used to hate them but nowadays, I can’t do my makeup without using one of these two.  I’ve been using the Revlon coral reef practically everyday for the past 2 months!  That’s saying something because I usually switch blush shades after 2 or 3 weeks.

The Bourjois pink sunwear is NOT pink at all.  It’s more bronze than pink but it is just perfect for giving your skin a post-summer glow!

 Cream blushes look natural because they look like cheek stain, but I’m not a fan of the ones with the tacky finish.  It just puts me off of cream blushes which is a pity because they look so good on the cheeks. 

Thank the beauty gods for the new cream blush formula that transforms them from cream to powder once they set.  You get the best of both worlds with these blush products.  The appearance of cream blush and the finish of powder blush. ❤

7. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Crush

I have like 6 of these Revlon balm stains and I’ve had them since Mega days, but I only got this shade recently.  It’s actually the only shade from this line that I really want.  I still don’t understand why it took me 2 years to finally get it.  Haha!

I just love this color soooo much.  I favor dark and berry-toned lipsticks and lip products so this is right up my alley. 

I reach for this balm stain whenever I’m too lazy to wear lipstick.

I still can’t believe I managed to narrow down my beauty favorites into that.

Anyway, let’s go through the Bath Products:

06 TCF

1. The Cream Factory Bath Cream in Goat’s Milk and Almond

I didn’t know it was possible to crave for a bath product until I ran out of my The Cream Factory bath cream in Goat’s Milk and Almond.  I literally caught myself imagining how this thing smells in the bath.  I was like, “Uh-oh.  I really should get a new bottle and put myself out of this misery. “

So I got myself the big bottle this time, and I am just obsessed with this! It smells soooo good!  It lathers up like a dream, leaves your skin feeling smooth, clean and hydrated. 

I have too many good things to say about this product.  Bottomline? I don’t mind shelling out 700 bucks for something this good. ❤

05 hair products

2. L’oreal Sulfate Free System Shampoo and Conditioner

I’ve been using these since I dyed my hair back in 2011, and to date, it’s still my choice of sulfate free shampoo and conditioner.  Unlike other sulfate free shampoo, this doesn’t leave your hair feeling sticky or dirty. 

I love the EverCreme line the most since it smells like vanilla.  The Everstrong is okay too, since it smells like rosemary and juniper.  The Evercolor which is the pink one and not included in the photo, smells too manly, even for me. BLECH.

I’ll stick to these lines, thank you very much.

L’oreal Sulfate free system hair products are already available locally.  You can find them in SM department stores and Watsons.

Techie Favorites:

It’s my first time to have this section in my favorites.  Honestly, I’m not very into gadgets.  I don’t even like tinkering with electronics if they go wonky on me, so I try to use only the quintessential ones, like cameras, laptop and mobile phone.

However, I have very good reasons for getting a Galaxy tab and selfie pod.

08 techie favorites

1. Selfie/Monopod Stick

This is something I bought for my trip to Siem Reap.  It was a solo trip and I prefer to take my own photos.  🙂  I also liked the clip lens (esp. the macro one) so I decided to get it.  You can get them at a discount if you buy the bluetooth shutter, monopod and lens as a set.  I got mine from @monopodsph on instagram.

Here’s a closer look at the selfie gear.  Oh, in case you’re wondering I actually have 2 sets of clip lenses.  This way I don’t have to remove the wide lens from the macro one.

09 selfie pod

2. Samsung 7.0 Tab 3 Lite

10 tab

Oh hello there Lee Min Ho.  ❤

The main reason why I got a tab even though I already have an iPad is because of the Dramania app.  You’re probably wondering what Dramania is no?  Dramania let’s you download unlimited number of Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese TV series and movies for free.  Yes, it’s totally free!  The only catch is you have to have a Samsung gadget since the app won’t work on other OS.

Cool right?

I’ve been watching koreanovelas like crazy ever since I bought my tab last May. I think that means it really deserves a spot on my favorites for May and June.  😛

***

So those are my favorites for the past 2 months!  I feel like a total slacker for not blogging since May. -_-  I have so many things I want to share with you guys but I’ve been so busy that even my new purchases are piling up because I can’t even shoot them for posting.  I solemnly swear that I will try to post more often now that my schedule is a bit lighter.  I feel so bad since I have so many beauty and travel posts that I want to write but I just do not have enough time to really focus on it. -_-

I guess I’m too busy living my life to document things. Hopefully I can post more now that things are a bit light at work.  Or maybe I shouldn’t say that because I could be loaded with more work anytime starting tomorrow…

Fingers crossed!  Haha! 

I hope you enjoyed this post!  I’m afraid I have to end this here since I’m the only person left in the office and I should go home for dinner already.

Until my next post!

xx

Erika

Beauty Basics: Blush

Hi Everyone!

I’m back today for a quick post about blushes.  This will be part 1 of my Beauty Basics series wherein I will focus on my 5 beauty staples.  By “staples” it means the bare minimum makeup items that I always use unless I’m going to workout, swim or wakeboard.

Just so you know what to expect, these are my 5 Beauty Staples:

1. Brow Pencil/Powder

2. Brow Tint

3. Mascara

4. Blush

5. Lip Balm/Lipstick/Lip Stain

So today, we’ll talk about blushes.

This is a simple guide on ways to apply certain blush formats, how to wear “odd” shades and what you should look for and avoid when picking up new blush products.

Blush Basics

So let’s blush up on the basics

There are 3 Blush formats: Powder, Cream and liquid/tint.

Honestly I’m not a big fan of tints or cream blushes, though the latter is starting to grow on me.  I avoid using cheek tints whenever I can though, so even if I have a couple of tints in my stash, I won’t include them in this post just yet.

All About Blushes

Blushes, Brushes & a Beauty Blender

In my makeup stash, the number of cheek products are neck and neck with lip products.  I have no bloody idea why I feel compelled to buy new blushes or highlighters in varying shades all the time (I am baffled, really) but yeah, I end up buying a lot so I have a lot of blushers.

I tend to favor shimmery powder blushes because they are easier to work with compared to matte blushes.  They tend to be softer in texture and easy to blend to the skin.  Shimmer blushes are also “glowy” on it’s own so using one eliminates the need for a highlighter.  Well, most of the time.

powder blush

I. Powder Blushes x Angled Contour and Blush Brush

I favor angled blush brushes for powder blushes because it follows the natural contour of the cheeks and the tapered tip makes it easy to create blurred edges that makes the blush look natural.  If you’re a makeup newbie, I suggest that you start with shimmery blushes from mid-range brands (e.g. MAC, Tarte, L’oreal) as it is easier to work with the texture and pigment of their blushes.

If you’re moving up to more pigmented blushes (e.g. Sleek, La Femme, The Balm Instain) these are trickier to apply because they are very pigmented.  If you have a heavy hand with blushes and find it hard to adjust using an angled blush brush, I suggest using a stippling/duo fibre brush until you get used to the level of pigmentation of the product.

Duo Fibre brush ends are less dense compared to angled brushes so it picks up less product.  The softness of the brush tip also makes product application smoother.  You can’t go wrong with this brush, just remember to start light and use circular brushing strokes especially when you’re using matte blushes.

A. Shade Selection

As you can see in the photo above, I do not stick to any particular color family.  Forget the notion of sticking to a certain blush shade for your skintone.  There are blushes that will not seem wearable to you, but trust me, you can use any blush shade you want as long as you can match it with the look you have on.  Layering shades also work if you’re not good with coordinating your makeup looks.

This summer I skipped out on the standard peachy/flushed cheeks and opted for a bronze-y and berry-toned blushes.  I usually layer the shades to make bright blushes look more natural.  Check my previous post to see my favorite blushes.

I’ll make a separate post for my blush/face routine this week so watch out for that one.

B. Finish

There are three blush finishes: Shimmery, Satin and matte.  I’m sure shimmer and matte is pretty self explanatory.  Satin is a cross between the two.  It’s not quite matte but it’s not very glowy either.

Purchasing matte and satin finish blushes is pretty much foolproof as what you see in the pan is pretty much what you can expect upon application.

But for shimmery blushes, make sure that the shimmer leans more towards warm and golden tones or the shimmer/glitter matches the color of the blush.  I’ve bought a couple of blushes with shimmers that’s either silvery or, in the case of a purple La Femme blush, bluish.  I am yet to wear those blushes outside the house as it is difficult to make it look wearable.  I’d probably find a way to wear those eventually.  I’ll let you know when I do.

cream blush

II. Cream Blushes x Duo-fibre brush or Beauty Blender

I don’t really hate cream blushes, but if you’re used to powder blushes, it takes a bit of adjusting to work with a cream blush without getting totally frustrated.

In the photo above I selected several cream blushes in different formats.  Pot rouge by Bobbi Brown and Flower Beauty, Multi Stick by Nars and HD Cream blush in a pump bottle by Make Up For Ever.

For applicators, you have three options.  One is the Duo Fibre brush, which is the most commonly used medium for this blush.  I have my most treasured MAC 187 in the photo for that.  It’s my HG brush and I can’t sing enough praises about it.

MAC 187 is available in all MAC stores for P2750.00

It is expensive, yes, but boy you won’t regret spending your hard earned cash on this baby.

The second, less preferred choice would be the Beauty Blender.  Or any of those dupes that you can get your hands on.  It almost hurts me to say this because I love the MAC 187, but I prefer the beauty blender when it comes to applying cream blush.

Why?  Well, since using the BB (beauty blender) means you’re stippling the pigment using the round end, it makes the pigment blend to the skin seamlessly.  This method also ensures that you won’t displace your foundation or concealer if you choose to wear your blush over it.

But if you’re just looking into adding a pop of color on your cheeks and don’t actually wear a lot of makeup, you can get away with applying cream blush using your fingers.  Swirl you ring and middle finger over the pot and lightly dab the color on your cheeks until you cover desired area and get the color intensity that  you prefer.

A. Shade Selection

Since I’m a cream blush noob, I stick to staple colors I am comfortable with.  Peach, pink, coral, and earth-tone red.

I find it easier to work with cream format when I don’t have to sheer the product out so much.  Heavy blending can displace your makeup base, which is a pet peeve of mine.  I also notice that cream blushes tend to mix with whatever foundation you have on and the color changes.  I really hate this. -_-

Clearly, I still have a lot of cream blush practice to do.

B. Finish

There are 2 cream blush finishes.  The usual finish is that it stays dewy even as it sets.  Some cream blushes have cream to powder finish where in sets and appears matte and dry.

I’ve tried a lot of cream to powder blushes lately and I really prefer them to the ones that remains tacky. Try Boujois cream blushes or Revlon cream blushes.  They’re pretty good for cream blush noobs. 

I usually reach for my cream blush on weekends when I just want natural flushed looking cheeks.

Most cream blushes do not have shimmer as they are glowy even without the shimmer, so if you’re trying out this format, look for a shade that you are comfortable with and work your way to bolder and deeper colors as you get used to it.

*****

So that’s my guide to powder and cream blushes!

I hope I didn’t make you dizzy with all the details.  Let me know if you’re up for an tutorial or demo on blush application.  I’m thinking of working on a separate post for that. 🙂

Let me know what you guys think in the comments.

Talk later!

xx

Erika

Beauty: 11 April Favorites

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while since my last post and I really missed rambling on here.

There seems to be a conspiracy that is keeping me away from my 1 blog post a week goal.  I had a wakeboarding accident a couple of weeks back and I sprained my MCL in the right knee.  I’m getting better and I can move around and drive but it’s still not back to 100%.  I’m currently having therapy sessions to heal my injury properly.

So my injury, plus the numerous deadlines looming at work has kept me far faaar away from blogging the past few weeks.  I’m actually writing this post while waiting for some things I need for work. haha!

Despite the injury and hectic work schedule, I’m still feeling really positive because it’s already May!  It’s my birth month and for some weird ass reason it just feels like everything will go my way this month…  Or will it?  We shall see.  But aside from the tragedy of turning 23, there are just so many things going on right now and I’m so excited about all of it!

1. My cousin is getting married next weekend! (finally!)

2. Several relatives and friends are coming home from the States. – This is always fun! 🙂

3. Frantic work pace will pause after May 22; but then again maybe not…

4.  Which means I can totally enjoy my first solo trip to Siem Reap by the 24th!  Soooo excited!

5.  My injury is healing rapidly and I should be able to get back on my board soon. (yeah!)

So now that I’ve rambled on, it’s time to share with you my favorite beauty products from the past month!  It’s a miracle to only have 11 items for April.  I actually have been using pretty much the same things since March, but I’ve tried a couple of some new and not so new things too, so here are my top picks:

01 Primary

02 11 items

Clockwise: Bourjois Maxi Format Makeup Remover, Beauty Cottage Chic Duo Eyeshadow in Peach Choco, Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara, Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in 190 True Beige, Kiko Makeup Milano Concealer in Fair, Bite Beauty Lip Pencil in Rhubarb, Denman Hair Massager, Tweezerman Mini Teezer, MAC Cremesheen Glass in Star Quality, Chic Cosmetics Round Kabuki Brush, Gino McCray Single Eyeshadow in Light Peach

eye products

Let’s start with the single eye products!

I’ve had this Kiko Concealer for a while now and I am guilty of forgetting that it existed.  Good thing it’s still in perfect form.  This is too light for me at the moment so I use it as a highlighter instead of a concealer.  I love to dot and blend this along my nose bridge, inner corner of the eyes and underneath the brows.  Think of it as reverse contour.  It’s less obvious but very effective.

Kiko Makeup is not available locally.  I got this a few years back on a Eurotrip.

Beauty Cottage eyeshadow duo in Peach Choco – I can’t praise this thing enough.  This is an amazing product.  Pigmentation is incredible, very true to color, what you see in the pan is exactly what you get when  you apply this on the lids.  Texture is very soft and buttery, almost creamy, and blends like a dream.  I cannot believe I scored this at at a discounted price of 320 Baht in Bangkok, plus I get to pick another eyeshadow duo for free.  I am not kidding!  That’s about 500.oo pesos for 2 excellent eyeshadow duos!  I own a number of MAC eyeshadows and I have to say that the quality of these eyeshadows trumps some of the MAC shades that I have.

I love the other duo too but the shades on this one are just spot on and perfect for summer, no other shades necessary. I was in a hurry when purchasing this though so I couldn’t get more.  I’ll definitely pick up more products the next time I’m in BKK.

Gino McCray Eyeshadow Single in Light Peach – Another beauty product I scored in Bangkok.  Got this at 95 Baht (P150.00) which is 50% off the usual price of 180 Baht.  Another excellent eyeshadow.  Very similar to the Beauty Cottage one  when it comes to texture and pigmentation.  The shade looks bronze-y in the pan but actually looks more like burnt rose gold when swatched.

This shade is perfect for summer and really lovely for a single eyeshadow look.  Just make sure to build up the color on the crease to make it look like you made more effort than you actually did. 😉

Revlon NN

Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in True Beige – I’ve been wanting to try this foundation since it came out late last year, but I just couldn’t kick my BB Cream routine back then.  I bought this one on impulse a month ago though because I stopped using my BB cream after I got really tanned.

I have to warn you, this foundation oxidizes like CRAY.  On initial swatches, this shade was perfect for my tanned skin.  When I got home and applied it on my face, I was aghast to find that it turns more than 3 shades darker on me.  That and it looks really flat when it sets on my skin. *insert horrified mouth gaping moment here*

I was so dismayed since I was expecting a dewy finish from this product.  It did say “Nearly Naked” so the implication is it will look like skin.  But NO it did not. I wasn’t happy and I thought it was doomed to rot in a hidden corner of my makeup stash.  At least until I thought of mixing it with some gel moisturizer.

When diluted, this thins out just enough to give me that natural looking finish and light to medium coverage.   It still oxidized but this time it just went about a shade darker which wasn’t a problem for me.

So now it landed on my favorites list because it is pretty good, despite the fact that it doesn’t look Nearly Naked like it claims to be.

I am currently searching for a lighter foundation that will work well when mixed with this and a setting powder that won’t flatten and totally mattify it.  To shop for new stuff or shop from my stash?  Hmm.   and no, I don’t want to get another bottle of the Revlon foundation in a lighter color.

lip products etc

Some odd lip and eye products and a brush

Chic Cosmetics Round Kabuki brush – This is a dupe for the Sigma Round Kabuki.  I ranted about this in my old blog but I found that the prickly bristles softens after a couple of washes and now I really enjoy applying my foundation with this.

Bite Beauty Lip Pencil in Rhubarb – The perfect My Lips But Better shade with a mauve tone to it.  Love the texture and fragrance of this product!  It’s really pricey but this was part of a gift set so I got 4  travel size shades for the price of one full-size pencil.  I think I just might get this shade in full-size when I finish it.

MAC Cremesheen Glass in Star Quality – LE lipgloss from MAC.  Something I’ve had for a while.  This was actually a PR sample I got back when I was still in publishing.  I haven’t used lipglosses for quite some time, but watching Korean TV Series got me thinking of wearing lipgloss again.  I’m glad I did because reopening my lipgloss drawer made me realize just how many lip products I’ve been neglecting.  lol!  Anyhoo,  I hope MAC releases this as a permanent color because this shade is perfect for the summer!  Love the feel of this gloss too.  It’s not sticky like the lip glass but it is tackier than most lipglosses so it lasts longer.  It also makes my lips look plump and blurs the natural grooves of  your lips.  I don’t know why I but really love it when lipglosses do that.  I might be using this for a Korean Makeup tutorial soon.

Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara – They weren’t kidding when they said this mascara will elongate and volumize your lashes.  It really would.  Move over Fairy Drops.  This baby just drop kicked you off the Mascara Top Charts  in one hit.

HM Mascara

This mascara has a thin and curved wand that makes it easy to maneuver and reach all of your lashes.  I advise that you wipe off some of the product on a tissue before using this, especially if it’s a new tube, because it will make your lashes clump like crazy.  So just wipe it, swipe it on your lashes, et voila!  It will give your lashes some really mean lift and volume.  Work quickly when using this mascara as it dries really fast, and when it does, it’s not moving out unless you attack it with an oil based makeup remover.

Picked this up at HK for around 60HKD.

tweezerman denman

Tweezerman Tweezer – This tweezer is supposed to be smaller than the usual Tweezerman tweezers, though honestly I can’t tell the difference.  It feels the same and works just as well at a fraction of a price.  This is only P500.00 ish or so compared to the Limited Edition ones that are almost 800 to 900 bucks.  Tweezers are just Tweezers.  I’m willing to pay for quality so long as I see a good reason for it.

Denman Hair Massager – I love love love this!  I used to run a hairbrush through my scalp a couple of times to stimulate blood circulation, but this one, hands down, does a better job at it.  If you like getting your hair brushed and that tingly feeling when  your stressed scalp starts to loosen up, then get this thing.  Like now.

P295.00 at Beauty Bar Stores.

Oh, you’re welcome.

26 Bourjois

Another item I picked up at HK.  I think it was HKD 60.00 then because it was on sale.  This works just as well at the Lancome Bifacil but it’s way cheaper.

If you ever find yourself in good old Hongkong, pop by one of the Bonjour stores and pick up a bottle of this.  You won’t regret it.

*****************

So that’s my favorite for the month of April! I just noticed that my previous post was my favorites for March. GAH.  How was I reduced to posting once a month?  I didn’t even notice the month passing by so quickly! batshitcray.

Anyhoo, I’m working on another post today and it should be up by this weekend.

Until my next post!

xx

Erika