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.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 2.12.07 PM

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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

Advertisements

Personal: 2014 Year-End Time Capsule

Primary Photo

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

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: 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

Lifestyle: What’s in my Bag?

Hi everyone!

I’m back for a quick post.  Today I’m going to share with you what I have been carrying around in my bag lately.  I just thought this would be an interesting post because, being the nosy person that I am, I love reading blog posts about purses and what people usually carry in their bags.

Now, if you want to know what I have in my bag, read on.

I am a bit of a pack rat so I usually carry a ton of stuff in my bag.  Hence, I need to have a roomy purse all the time.

Cobalt Blue Balenciaga Giant City Bag

This Balenciaga bag may look small to you but it is surprisingly roomy!  It can hold a lot of things and the best part about it is I don’t have to worry about breaking it since it’s really sturdy.

I’m not a total bag hag, but I am particular about bag quality, so I like to invest in nice bags like this one. 🙂 The fact that it can go with any outfit I decide to throw on doesn’t hurt either.

So this is everything that was in my bag.

Told you it’s pretty roomy. 

Gadgets schmadgets + them chargers

You might be scratching your head at this point, but yes, I have to have two separate phones and an iTouch too.  Why?  Well, I like to use the  iTouch for music and games.  That way my music library and games won’t mooch off memory space in my phone.

Aaaand I have two mobile phones because one is my personal phone and the other I use for work.

Beauty Booty

Now it wouldn’t be my bag if it didn’t have a beauty stash.  I don’t bring that many lip products all the time.  It just so happens that I haven’t cleared out the lipstick pocket in a while. *excuses* lol!

A closer look of my emergency beauty bag.  I’ve had this one for a while.  The brushes are part of MAC’s Glamour Daze collection, and I keep a selection of makeup in the other pocket.  They’re nothing special but what I have here can get me through any makeup emergencies that could occur.

Let me know if you’d like to see a separate and thorough post about this.

Sunnies from Sunnies by Charlie and Eyeglasses from Mike Nuosl

Now these are the two things I really can’t leave behind.  I hate driving without sunglasses on, unless it’s evening time and I can’t work in front of the computer for long without my glasses because it hurts my eyes.

My eyesight isn’t that impaired but I just prefer wearing glasses with multi coated lenses to protect my eyes.

2014 Moonleaf planner, 16GB Flash drive and my Parker pen

I know people usually keep their schedules on their mobile phones nowadays, but there’s something about keeping a planner that actually motivates me to organize my schedule and everything else in my life.  There are times when I accidentally leave my planner behind and it always feels like I lost a limb.  I’m that attached and dependent to this thing.

Of course it has to have a pen to go with it.

Flash drive – you never know when you’re going to lose internet connection.  Oh wait, you get disconnected right when you need to send a huge file.  Drat.  This is why I keep a flash drive handy.  Always.

I’m notorious for always keeping candies and snacks in my bags.  The army of ants swarming towards my bag should clue you in… Just kidding!  Well maybe not.

Anyway, I always keep a pack of sours and chewing gum in my bag.  Girl’s gotta have her sugar stash.  I add a bar of granola bar or two whenever I feel like it.  Just because.

Last, but not the least are my wallet and house keys.

Now these are the things we should always carry around with us, because really, what would you do without money and keys to your house?

These along with car keys and my powerbank are super essential to me, but I forgot to include them in the photos.  Perhaps I’ll include them when I need to create an updated version of this post.

So far, that is everything I tote around in my bag. There’s not much in here, actually.  If I did this post when I was still commuting… well let’s not go there. haha!

Thank you for reading up to this point!  I hope you enjoyed reading this post, because I had a lot of fun writing it. 🙂

See you guys on my next post!

xx

Erika