Beauty: 11 April Favorites

Beauty, Favorites, Personal

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

Beauty: Collective Haul

Beauty, Hauls, Travel

Hi everyone!

Today I’ll be sharing with you a massive collective haul post.  To be honest, I’ve been trying not to post any hauls since I feel like all I ever post are hauls, but I just couldn’t help it.  I think haul posts are so much fun!  I can blog hop for hours just looking at haul posts. haha!

Last weekend, I realized I’ve been stacking all of my newly purchased makeup to one side of my vanity area instead of putting them where they should be.   I usually put them away after shooting the items for a haul post.   After seeing how much stuff I’ve accumulated, I figured it is time for me to write another one.

We have a lot of ground to cover so I divided the products into different categories.

Tip: if this photo looks too dark to you, adjust the brightness of your screen.  I edit photos using maximum brightness to maintain photo quality.

Are you ready to see my recent purchases? It’s a mix of beauty products I hoarded from my recent trip to Hongkong, gifts, online shopping and sale shopping. Now I kind of feel guilty.  Kind of.

Let’s start with Skincare, shall we?  Honestly, I’m not big on skin care since I’m really lazy.  However I am a total hand cream hoarder, and I love trying new bath products.

Yep. I’m a sucker for body creams and hand creams alright.

Bath & Body Works Triple Moisture Body Cream

These were gifts from a tita who recently had a vacation here in Manila.  I love using these, but since they are really thick and sticky, it doesn’t sit well with Philippine weather.  Whenever I use this during the day and I start sweating, it turns into a sticky mess.   I still use it during the evenings though.  This type of body cream is perfect for use during the cold season because it is formulated for use in countries with temperate climate.

The Cream Factory SCRUB-in-a-TUB

(Goat’s Milk and Almond – Yummy Variant P699.00)

My current favorite body scrub!  I just love the scent and fine texture of this product.   The quality is very comparable to more expensive brands.  Most luxury brand scrubs are notable for their non-abrasive texture that still effectively exfoliates your skin.  If you’re on the hunt for those kinds of scrubs, you should definitely try this product!

I posted a review about this scrub recently.  You can read that here.

available at stand alone SNOE Stores & Pormada.ph

The Body Shop Absynthe Hand Cream (100mL)

(HKD 130 for 2 tubes)

Don’t you just hate it when your hands get all dry in the mornings?  I tend to have dry, papery textured hands in the mornings so I make it a habit to slather hand cream on before heading out of the house.

I also keep a tub of body butter on my office desk and another one in my bag so I can moisturize my hands when necessary.

This Absynthe hand cream from The Body Shop is one of my favorites.  Absynthe is a new line from Body Shop.  I didn’t like it at first, but the fresh herbal scent grew on me and now, I prefer this over the Almond one.  I love that it’s  light, hydrating and non-sticky.

This 100 mL tube would cost you more than 1000 bucks here in Manila though, so when I visited their outlet store in Hongkong and saw that they’re selling these for half the price, I had to get two.

Le Couvent des Minimes Gentle Cleansing Milk

(P799.00 for 200mL)

I first heard about this product and brand while browsing Bless My Bag and Julia was raving about this cleanser.  She’s one of my favorite beauty bloggers as her site isn’t overtly commercial and I really like her thorough and honest product reviews.

Le Couvent des Minimes is a sister brand of L’occitane, but it is a more affordable line.

I saw their booth in SM Aura last February and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were having a 50%  off sale on all of their products.  I remembered Julia’s review so I got one bottle to try.  Upon checking the rest of the products from the line, I opted to purchase a pillow mist and mint lip balm as well.

Regular Price: Gentle Cleansing Milk P799.00 || Lip Balm P499.00 || Good Night Pillow Mist P864.00

It was a good, albeit impulse, purchase since I loved every single one of these!  I had a mini panic attack when I read Julia’s post that the brand is being phased out of Manila so I rushed to SM Aura last Friday to stock up on the pillow mist and several things I wanted to try.

Out of curiosity, I asked the saleslady if they really are pulling the brand  out and she told me that they are not and in fact, they just restocked some products because the brand was doing well the past few months.  I was even able to get an extra bottle of the cleansing milk that seems to just fly out of their shelves!

I still purchased several items though just to be on the safe side. lol! They just might change their mind and pull out later anyway.  *fingers crossed*  I have the entire Rose Skincare line now and I’ll be reviewing that soon. 🙂

Le Couvent des Minimes products are on 50% off sale in selected SM Department stores until March 31, 2014.

Being the hoarder that I am, my trip to Hongkong wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t load up on Japanese beauty products.

Luminous Change Falsies in # 10 & 12

(HKD 68.00 each from Sasa)

Japanese falsies are awesome, and I really looked for the ones that looks like demi-wispies because they look more natural than the ones that are uniformly cut.  I already murdered a pair from #12 though. haha!

Andrea Individual Lash Adhesive

(HKD 28.00 at Sasa)

This isn’t anything special, but I needed adhesive for individual lashes and these were really cheap and latex free.  It can be a bit of a pain to remove though since it’s the type that hardens when it dries.

(L-R) Style & Noble False Lash Applicator and Shiseido Lash Curler

(HKD 68.00 & 72.00 respectively from Sasa)

I usually just stick on my falsies using my hands but one of my favorite YouTubers, Wayne Goss, uses a special tweezer like this one to apply falsies so I picked one up to try.

I don’t see the deal about expensive lash curlers, but I figured I should give it a try before making a judgement so I picked up this Shiseido lash curler.  I kind of regret it.  I’ll post a review about this soon and a comparison with my favorite lash curler by Grip.

Stila Written in the Stars palette

This was a  pasalubong from another tita who visited from the States.  I’m not sure how much this is but I do know this is from Stila’s 2012 holiday collection.

The eyeshadows are pretty good and easy to blend, although they aren’t as good as Urban Decay shadows.  I really love the packaging and product placement.  It might be impractical though since the shape of the pans will make it hard to pick up the product when it’s almost out.

I’ve used this palette a couple of times already and it is a good everyday palette.  It’s not something that you have to have, since it doesn’t have any unique shades, but it’s nice to have a neutral eyeshadow palette.  You just can’t go wrong with them.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

(P2500.00/USD 52.00)

I’ve been a big fan of Urban Decay eyeshadows since I got my hands on the Naked 1 palette over 3 years ago.  The texture of the eyeshadows are just phenomenal.  All the shades are super smooth, blendable and incredibly pigmented, so I don’t mind shelling out some extra money for these palettes.

However, it took me a while to jump on the Naked 3 bandwagon (and completely ignored the Naked 2 craze) because I feel like they’ve overdone the entire Naked line already.  Remember Naked Basics and Naked Flushed?  Oh, let’s not even start on the face powder and highlighters.  It’s just too much.

Another reason is I detest anything pink.  As much as I love makeup, I’m not a total girly girl and I avoid owning anything in pink if I can help it.  There’s nothing wrong with it if pink is your favorite color.  It’s perfectly fine.  Personally though, I feel like pink and I will never mix well.  I feel like it screams “girly-girl over here” and that is just not my thing.

Anyhoo, long story short, I have an automatic aversion to pink.  Naturally, I didn’t have any eyeshadows in that color family either.  It wasn’t until Nikki Tiu of askmewhats.com gave me a pinky eyeshadow palette that I tried using the color for my eye makeup.

I was surprised to find that it’s actually a flattering color on me.

As I continued to use that eyeshadow quad, I couldn’t quite decide if I should get the Naked 3 palette.  In the end, I obviously did and I was lucky to find it at such a low price.  Online stores usually sell this for P2900.00 up to P3500.00, but I only had to pay P2500.00 for mine.  Just 100 pesos more than the US price.

So far, I am enjoying this palette.  I don’t go all out and use all the pink hues all at once though.  I’ll be posting a more thorough review on this palette soon.

available at bonmarchepage.com and @bonmarchepage on instagram

Sidebar: I thought of getting the Naked 2 palette as well and I could have, just to have the complete set, but I figured some of the Naked 2 shadows are in the Naked 1 palette and some of the darker shades in Naked 3 are similar to some Naked 2 eyeshadows so I decided not to buy it.

Who knows, maybe I’ll get sucked into it eventually.  Or not.

Heroine Make & Fairy Drops Platinum Mascara

(HKD 65.00 & 118.00 from Sasa)

I have a hard time finding mascaras that retains the curl of my lashes, but I’ve been hearing a lot of good reviews about Fairy Drops and the much more obscure Heroine Make mascara so I bought a few to try it out.

Fairy Drops is more expensive since it is more popular and already repackaged for distribution in Sephora stores.  Heroine Make is slowly gaining popularity as well so make sure to try this before they start repackaging it.

Both mascaras are excellent in adding length, lift and volume.  Something that even Lancome Hypnose cannot do for my lashes.

Dolly Wink Brow Tint in Cocoa & Makemania Brow Tint

(HKD 89.00 & 59.00)

I use three products to fill-in my brows every single day. The last product is the brow tint.  My natural hair is black but I like to fill-in my brows with a grey-brown brow powder so I need to use a brow tint to lighten my brow hair.

I haven’t used these yet, but I’m definitely posting a review once I do.  I just need to finish my The Face Shop Brow tint first.

Dolly Wink Brow Pencil & K-Palette Brow Pencil

(HKD 65.00 & 55.00 at Sasa)

I use brow powder to fill in my brows, but it takes me about 10 minutes just to get it perfectly filled-in, and there are times when I simply do not have the patience or the time to do that.  I think brow pencils are the most convenient brow makeup to use because it’s so easy to use.  You can have perfectly filled-in brows in less than five minutes.

I like my brows to look ash brown instead of black or red brown, and Dolly Wink Cocoa is just perfect for me.  I haven’t tried the K-palette one but I’ve used the liquid pen before so I think they will be pretty similar.  It’s good too but it has a red undertone which I’ve come to dislike in the past few months.  Nevertheless, I’m reserving judgement until after I use it.

This part of the haul has been long overdue.  Got these items online last November.  (see what I meant by overdue? haha!)

Real Techniques Brushes – Sam’s Picks set

(P1750.00 – The Vanity Zone)

I’ve had my eye on this ever since it came out.  I like the multipurpose brush and buffing brush, but they aren’t available individually, plus I didn’t really care for the other brushes that comes with them in a set, so this is a great way to get both brushes.  I like all of the brushes in this set except for the flat foundation brush.  IDK, I like flat foundation brushes but I think this is way to small for a foundation brush.

Still, I think this is a good brush set.  Although, I don’t recommend this for makeup beginners as it doesn’t have all of the basic brushes you will need.

Revlon Matte Balms

(Sultry, Elusive, Mischievous, Shameless)

(P520.00 at The Vanity Zone)

The first time I saw a review on this by a Youtuber, I knew that I had to have the purple one right away.  Unfortunately, it takes a while for new Revlon products to arrive here in Manila.  I had these pre ordered last year and I got them way back in November, but I never got around to posting about them.  I also ordered a couple of other colors, but the more intense shades are your best bet when it comes to this product.  Sultry and Shameless go on smoothly and opaque in just one swipe.  They also stain and fade evenly.  I find the other two lacking in pigment and staying power.

Overall, these are great!  Since I like my lip color to be matte, I prefer this over the kissable balm stains and the lacquer balms.

I’m thinking of getting Striking and some of the nude shades now that these are more widely available. You can now get these in Revlon counters for P575.00 each.

K-palette Kuma Concealer, Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer, Flower Cream Blush

(HKD 95.00, 109.00 and 23.00 respectively.  All items are from Sasa)

For someone who used to dislike concealers and cream blushers, I’ve been purchasing too many of these lately.  I blame it on tanning and the summer heat!  It’s making me reach for products that feels lighter on the skin without sacrificing the staying power.

My skin has gotten a lot darker recently so most of my face products no longer match my skintone.  </3 It’s a sad thing, I know.  BUT it still works to my advantage because I finally got to use the Kuma Concealer that I couldn’t use before.  It used to be a shade too dark once it oxidizes, but now it’s a perfect match.  I’ve been using this just to cover up blemishes and my under eye circles before setting it with powder.  It evens out my skin tone perfectly and it doesn’t crease or budge the entire day so it works out pretty well.

Because I’ve been using it a lot, I used up about a third in a month so I restocked when I was in HK.  It costs less that P600.00 there but if I buy it here it will cost P900.00.  The 50% markup is just cray!

While I was in HK, I remembered reviews about Bourjois.  I’ve seen their products in Singapore last 2012 but I wasn’t really enticed to purchase any of it since I haven’t seen reviews on it.  After seeing a lot of rave reviews, plus the fact that their products are manufactured by the same company that makes Chanel cosmetics, I would be insane not to try it out right? 😛 Unfortunately, the cream blushes aren’t available in HK and the other products were just so-so so I settled for the Healthy mix concealer.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  🙂

Last thing in this section is this wonderful bargain find!  HKD 23.00 for a cream blush?!  Crazy kind of awesome! I picked one up to try and the coral shade is just perfect if you want to get a sunkissed look.  It’s not a cream to powder finish cream blush so it’s easier to work with.  It doesn’t streak and it sets into a dewy finish which is really lovely.   This is a bit hard to find because it’s in the bargain bin where everything is just dumped together and you’re left to scavenge for hidden gems.

Bourjois Maxi Format Makeup Remover (HKD 59.00)

This was a great find in a Bonjour store in HK.  It works just as well as the Lancome Bifacil makeup remover but you get so much more product at a lower price.

Rosy Rosa Point Makeup Remover

(HKD 40.00 from Sasa)

I’m curious about this as I haven’t tried any on-the-spot makeup remover yet. However, haven’t used this yet so I can’t tell you if it works well.  In any case, the pencil format makes it easy to use and carry around in a makeup kit.

Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream, Caudalie Lip Conditioner and Lavshuca Eye Liner

(Caudalie set HKD 75.00 Lavshuca liner HKD 70.00)

If you’ve been reading my old blog, you would know that I am a big fan of Caudalie.  The hand cream is one of the best I’ve tried and this lip balm is really good! I favor lip balms that aren’t viscous or too slick.  This one hits the perfect note between the two.

I’ve been using the K-Palette eyeliner for a while now and while I do like it, it is pricey at P800.00 for an eyeliner.  Even the P600.00 price tag in HK is expensive. I was browsing online and I saw several posts on the Lavshuca eyeliner.  It was more afforadable at HKD70.00 so I thought I should give it a try.  I’ll give this a whirl once I finish my current line up of eyeliners. 🙂

Beauty Bargain Tip: In case you are in HK and you plan to shop for beauty products, make sure to canvas for prices of products in several Bonjour and Sasa stores first.  It can be overwhelming as the way they display items are just crazy!  I suggest that you check Sasa to see if they have the items that you want as they have the most organized display of stocks, then check Bonjour if they carry that item then compare the prices.  A lot of items are usually HKD 10 cheaper in Bonjour, especially the Dollywink, K-palette and Heroine Make products.  This is something I learned a little too late.

WHOOHOO! We’re finally done!  I feel like I’ve been typing on and on with this post! CRAY!

I’ve been using some of the stuff in this post for a while now and they are definitely going to be in my favorites for the month of March!  Watch out for the next posts!  I’ll be posting about my March Favorites and Summer beauty essentials.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post.  Let me know if there’s a product you’d want to see a review on.

As always, thank you for reading!

xx

Erika