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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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.

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

Beauty: Collective Haul

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