Thursday, April 30, 2009

Packing decisions

Read Face Fab's post about packing and I had a mini panic attack.

Will be going to the beach next weekend for 4 days to the beautiful island of Boracay. I've been here 2 times before with the last one around 6 years ago with hubby.  My mom hasn't been here ever and so with DD.  My dad goes here at least quarterly for business. 

I hope it doesn't rain.  It's raining hard right now and it's supposed to be the middle of summer.  Wonky weather we're all having.

I haven't thought about what to pack yet since it's more than a week away.  Yet, I realized that the flight I booked for all 5 of us (mom, dad, and us 3) was the Go Lite flight meaning no check-in baggages!  I have to bring a small bag for myself with 4 days worth of stuff excluding my tote bag and laptop.

What am I going to bring?  I always pack light but this is the beach so 2 towels are needed definitely and that's already heavy.

For make-up I don't think I'll be bringing much.  Just these probably:

-Joppa Morning Dew foundation in a 5gr jar (since it has a bronzer built in)
-Dreamworld Creme Topping
-Eyeko Tinted Cream and Original Cream in clam shell sample pots to be used as highlight on eyes and bronzer on cheeks
-any of my pressed blushes but just 1
-1 or 2 lipglosses

That's it since I won't be putting on much anyway.  Oh, and my Ecotools travel brushes set.

Skincare is a different matter.

I'll be bringing around 4-5 different bottles of sunblock.  I think I need to start planning this now.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Garnier Pure A Daily Moisturizer

A new product I purchased over a week ago is the Garnier Pure A Daily Mositurizer Anti-imperfection.  Well, it's not exactly new but was launched here last year.

What it does:
- treats oily skin
- refines pores
- eliminates imperfections

It contains Salicylic acid and Zinc which helps treat acne.  I got this 50 ml. tube for less than P300.  Inexpensive, huh?

The lotion is white, thin in consistency with a cucumber-like scent.  This would probably not sit well with those who prefer fragrance-free products or are allergic to scented products but the scent goes away after applying.  It is easily spread on the skin and although it says "moisturizer" on the tube, for me it's not enough to act as one.  For very humid and hot days it would work just fine.  

I like that it comes in a tube for sanitary reasons and only a thin strip of lotion gets dispensed.  In the 1 week that I've used it, I haven't noticed any decrease in pore size but it does help my oily skin somewhat by mattifying it a little bit and my face doesn't get shiny after a few hours.  Take note though that this product is different from the Garnier Pure Shine Control Moisturizer available in other countries and that I haven't seen locally yet.

It has helped heal minor irritations/bumps but is not enough for bigger ones.  I still use my Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask to spot-treat those at night.   

It would have been better if there was SPF in this product as I'm always on the lookout for 2-in-1 products for ease of use.  I still have to put a layer of sunblock on top of this.

Will I continue to buy this?  Maybe.  I haven't used it long enough to see other effects like pore size decrease but for the cheap price and the lighter moisturizing properties needed this summer, I will continue using it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 50+

I got the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 50+ with Helioplex earlier this week. My HG Olay Complete SPF 30 for Sensitive skin has been discontinued here in Manila and I'm down to half my bottle (why do they do this? I should have hoarded because it's half the price here than in the US but I didn't know it was going to be discontinued) so I am on the lookout for a high SPF for the face for daily use.

I've heard a lot about this but only tried it out recently. It costs P509 for the 3.0 oz. bottle and can be bought at any department store, drugstore or supermarket locally. Despite the negative (but a lot of positive) reviews, the only way I'll know is if I use it right?

This is an initial review as I've only used it for 2 days.

The product doesn't have an unpleasant smell although it's not the typical sunblock smell either. It's white and has a lotion consistency that isn't too thick. I can spread it evenly over my entire face without it balling up which other people say happens to them. Maybe because my skin is oily? It doesn't leave a white cast on me and my face feels smooth and soft after without a sticky film like other facial sunblocks. I guess that's the dry touch effect.

So far, the 2 days I've used it, I did not feel any burning sensation on my face nor break out in rashes. I don't know if it will sting my eyes because it's been raining the past few days so I haven't been sweating that much (but it is still hot). I notice though that my face looks a bit oily after a few hours. I haven't tried it under makeup so I don't know how it'll fair as a base.

Other countries have the different variants of SPF of this Neutrogena sunblock and based on reviews, the lower SPFs have a better consistency and is less thick although they don't have Helioplex which stabilizes the chemical blockers that breaks down under sunlight.

I do put on a layer of moisturizer before this because this isn't a 2-in-1 product which I prefer. This would be a good one to use for me daily from the neck down. I still need to use it the next few weeks in different conditions for the face and update my review.

Have you tried this product?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mail Day and Swatches

This mail day came a week ago but I wasn't able to post it right away and since it's raining very hard now what better thing to do than to blog.  

From Earthen Glow Minerals (BOGO promo):

I got a full size of the Si Vous Plait Radiance Glow...

with my BOGO choice of a full size of the Finishing Powder in Golden tint.

The EG Minerals Radiance Glows are really beautiful and like Dayna's Minerals Glows which are my favorite.  They're not sparkly but give a sheen to the skin.  The more pigmented ones can stand alone as blush.  The finishing powders are like my HG Dreamworld Creme Toppings because of it's good oil control on my face.  The Golden tint is translucent like the other shades but sort of brightens up my face more.

I also got samples of the Lightly Tinted Primer and the Soon shade in Cover Me formula.  I match Helena and Yuan Yuan but felt I needed a darker shade for summer and was recommended this shade.  I've tried it and it is a bit too yellow so I mixed it with Yuan Yuan at a 50/50 ratio. It now matches perfectly as a summer shade. 

EGM was kind enough to give a freebie of a pigment since all packages were delayed in shipping out due to the high volume of orders during the sale.  I just don't know the shade since there was no name indicated, just a "thank you" sticker.

From Adorned with Grace:

All prettily wrapped and sealed with a note from the owner:

A full sized Hope 4.2 to mix with my Hope 3.8 (stupid me didn't get the duo of 2 foundations earlier to get the discount because I thought I was a straight 3.8).

I only ordered these 2 blushes...

and got these feebies included: 

This full sized eye shadow was a Blog Only special at that time I ordered - when you order a FS foundation you get a full sized shadow of your choice for FREE!


*Amar is from Makeup Masala Minerals which I posted here


Tagged by Soapaholic of Confessions of a Soapaholic.

What is your current obsession?
MMU and skin care.

What is your weirdest obsession?
I don't think I have any unless other people think that my MMU obsession is weird.

What are you wearing today?
Plain peach shirt and printed cut-off shorts (previously the bottoms of my scrub suit).

What's your favorite comfort food?
Pasta!!!  (Lucky Me noodles pwede na din).

What would make today special?
Go out with hubby.

What would you like to learn to do?
Apply make-up properly (specifically, eye makeup) 

What’s the last thing you bought?
Neutrogena Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 50+

What are you listening to right now?

What is your favourite weather?
Sunny but with a cool wind blowing.

What is your most challenging goal right now?
Lose weight...going to Bora in a few weeks.

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
Anywhere as long as it's safe and we can go around the streets for a walk every day with no smog and no cars (I guess a gated community, too). 

What would you like to have in your hands right now?
My hauls from and
If you could swap lives with anyone for one day who would it be and why?
My friend M. who has everything and more!

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? at Walmart or Target for good drugstore finds. 

Which language do you want to learn?

What book are you currently reading?
The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown.

What do you look for in a friend?
One who is loyal, understanding, easy to talk to.

Who do you want to meet in person?
Edward Cullen (LOL!)

What’s your favourite type of music?
Pop, some classical.

What is your favourite piece of clothing you own?

What is your dream job?
To be an Interior Designer.

What is your beauty regimen?
Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser, MB Special Cucumber Toner/ Aqua Glycolic Toner, Camellia Rose zit Cream, C-vit Vit. C Serum, Olay Age Defying Daily Renewal Cream, Sunblock, RoC Deep Wrinkle Night Cream

If you had £100 now what would you spend it on?
20% goes to my savings, the rest would be on mmu, clothes

Thing you wish you could change in your past?
Too many to mention.

Fashion pet peeve?
Visible panty lines, visible bra straps.

Do you admire anyone’s style?
Blair and Serena of Gossip Girl. 

Describe your personal style.
T-shirt and jeans type of gal.   

What's your favorite ice cream flavor?

Are you satisfied with your lifestyle right now?

What is your favourite makeup brand?
MMU: Dreamworld, Adorned with Grace, EG Minerals, Aromaleigh, etc.

Do you get enough beauty sleep? Yes or no, and why?
Most of the time Yes...I sleep 8-9 hours at night.

What skin care/cosmetic product can you not live without?
Facial cleanser

I'm tagging anyone who wants to be tagged.

Okay, here's the rules:
1. Respond and rework: answer the questions on your
blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own
invention, add one more question of your own.
2. Tag eight other people.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Adorned With Grace Foundation

I thought I've already posted this before but it seems that I've forgotten and left it in draft form.

My Adorned with Grace foundation match is a 50/50 mix of Hope 3.8 and 4.2.  Either of them used alone is off on me so the mix was inevitable.  I like their foundation now that I've tried it and I always thought I was the last one to because I only recently ordered when they've been around since last year.

Foundation ingredients: 
Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc, Magnesium Stearate, & Iron Oxides.

The Hope range of shades is for those with Olive Yellow skin tones like me.  Turns out I do have olive tones contrary to what I thought of as having just pure yellow tones.  It offers medium coverage which is just right for our tropical climate without giving a flat matte look.  The foundation lasts on me the whole day with a good primer  and not making my face an oil slick later on.   Topped with the Divine Oil Control Powder, the effect is much better with good oil control.

I don't break out with the foundation blend and it feels light on the skin.  The full sizes are much cheaper compared with other mineral makeup companies and ordering their Duo foundation set gives a bigger discount especially if you have to mix foundation shades like me.

It's the blushes that I truly like from their company and the Supreme Smoothing Powder (like MUFE's Hi Definition powder) gives other companies a run for their money.  I'd like to hoard some of these next time.  I'm not much of an eyeshadow ho but other bloggers love the eye shadows because they're pigmented with a wide range of shades.

Here's an FOTD during one sweltering hot day: 

Hope 3.8 & 4.2 mix foundation
Divine Oil Control Powder
Supreme Smoothing Powder in Golden Tint
AwG blush in Vivacious
Earthen Glow minerals Radiance glow in Sil Vous Plait on top of blush
Lips: SN Rare berry lip gloss
Eyes: Eyeko Sexy Eyes Palette

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My Ecotools Brush Set

You've probably heard so many bloggers post about their Ecotools brushes, huh?  Well, here's another post from me :-)

Actually I've had the full sized powder brush since November of last year which I posted here.   The store didn't have stocks of the sets until I saw Toma of The Makeup Mix Shop carry the Ecotools brush line.  She is a blessing for us international customers because she carries those that are not readily available to us like NYX, Avon Magix, Ecotools, other brands and even her own minerals.   I've ordered from her a number of times and she has topnotch CS with very reasonable international shipping (even comes free for orders $20 and up).

Back to my brush set....I got the 5 pc. mineral brush set because I was paricularly interested in the eye shadow brush and the powder brush.  The brushes are soft with no offensive smell.  I've washed my brushes and they haven't shed (yet).  I've used the kabuki to apply my mineral foundation and setting powders and it does the job well although I do prefer long-handled kabukis.  The powder brush is much smaller than the other Ecotools powder brush I have and I prefer this one because there is more control in applying with the bristles on this one.  The full sized one is so much more softer and fluffier that I feel the powder doesn't apply on my face well. I don't know if it's just me but this is what I've noticed.  

The eyeshadow brush seems a bit too big for the crease area of my eye but I can probably make it work for blending.  The concealer brush is just the right size and is not too soft that it would be difficult to apply and blend concealers.  

The hemp brush case is a bit too small that you have to put in the brushes sideways but it's still pretty handy to carry along for travel.

I think I'll get the other brush set (6pc.) soon plus other items from The Makeup Mix Shop.

This is the freebie mineral pigment that came along with my order:


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Booth's Black Licorice Eye Cream

Booth's Black Licorice Eye Cream

What it does:  

"The delicate skin surrounding the eye area is the first place your face shows stress, fatigue and sun damage.  This non-greasy eye cream fights back with natural avocado, wheat germ oils and most importantly black licorice root.  Sodium hyaluronate delivers an intensive surge of hydration.  Signs of aging are visibly diminished, and the suppleness of younger, healthier-looking skin is instantly restored."

I've been using this eye cream every night for at least 5-6 months last year.  It feels light, goes on smooth and non-greasy.  Very little is needed for each eye as it is concentrated but is absorbed easily.  It has  a slight licorice smell that goes away and it really doesn't bother me (in fact I kind of like it).  

I did not notice any lightening on my under eye area (which is what licorice supposedly does) but it definitely moisturised.  I did not develop any other eye wrinkles either so I guess that's the positive effect of it's moisturization.  The time I've been using it, I didn't have any eye irritations.

It's not an HG eye cream either because I'm looking for one that has SPF (this one doesn't) for daytime use and at the same time has moisturizing and lightening properties.  Will continue to use this though because as you can see from the photo, I still have more than half a pot left.  I'm using a retinol cream at the moment but would probably alternate the 2 in a few months.

I got this from for less than $10 a year ago and it's not available locally.

The quest for an HG eye cream continues.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Buff'd Moccasin

I previously tried out Buff'd in Almond but the other shade I tried which is Moccasin (medium light shade with heavier yellow undertones) seems to be a much better match. I'm confused :-)

I think I need to mix Ginger (light shade with heavier yellow undertones) with my existing Buff shade (medium with subtle yellow undertones) to make it fall into the Moccasin category.  Any other  suggestions from readers would be much appreciated.

I'm wearing Buff'd Moccasin foundation and MAC tinted lip conditioner.

Much as I like the concealing formula it seems to be a bit heavy for me the more I use it so I'm going to stick to the original formula.  Especially now that it's summer, I prefer light to medium coverage foundation (and sometimes I only use a finishing powder and the Eyeko Tinted Cream on the cheeks).

If you want to try out Buff'd they have reasonably priced samples that ship free to anywhere in the world.

Happy Easter!

Better late than never...

Happy Easter Everyone!

(to those that celebrate it)

Easter eggs

Easter Island

Easter Lily

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque

Sorry for the lack of posts.  It's summer time (and scorching hot!) which makes me just want to go to the mall and walk around and soak in the airconditioning.

What's my HG facial mask for 2-3 years now?  It's Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque!  I know a lot of gals in the US love this mask and I do too.  Being an oily skinned, acne-prone person, this mask is very good for me because it doesn't break me out (yeah, some masks did break me out) and heals acne.

This masque is green in color and smells good...a bit minty but with something else and feels cool once on the skin.  I don't know how Mint Julep smells like so I'm assuming it's the same (just correct me if I'm wrong).


I usually use it once a week or 2x a month for my whole face by applying on a clean face then leaving it on for 30 minutes or more.  It does harden like other masks but not too hard that it would crack when you try to speak or smile.  I then proceed to wash it off and my skin feels so clean, fresh and soothed.  Yeah, it feels so soothing because I also use this after I do my own "facials" or cleaning including the removal of blackheads/whiteheads.  The Mint Julep masque prevents the raw areas from becoming zits and heals the redness of my face from the facial.

But guess what I use this most of the time for?  

I use this as my acne medicine!

Uh-huh...that's right.   Whenever I feel a new zit coming or if there are existing ones (thank God, I rarely get cystic acne now which has plaqued me since -- forever!) I just dot the mask on those areas as the last step of my nightly ritual (cleansing, toning, moisturising).   I don't mind that I have green spots on my face because when I wake up in the morning the zits are either gone or much smaller.  My daughter just laughs at me when seeing the green dots and hubby doesn't mind either (that's true love- loving someone for whatever they look like ha, ha!) coz I use it on him occasionally too.  The mask doesn't rub off on my pillows because I sleep on my back or side so that's not a problem.

I think it's the Sulfur content in the mask that helps heal acne since it's also the active ingredient in my Mario Badescu products.  Actually I stopped buying the MB Buffering Lotion because I now use this instead.  The Kaolin and Bentonite clay help in oil absorption.

The mask doesn't dry out my skin although I don't know it's effect for those with dry skin.  It says on the tube that any skin type can use it though.

The big tube that I have lasts soooo long.  At least 2 years in my case.  My first 2 tubes I got from the US and my 3rd tube I bought locally at Robinsons Galleria's department store for less than P300.  I should have hoarded more tubes because of the cheap price but I didn't because I knew how long a tube lasted for me.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find it there anymore whenever I looked for it but they have the other variants of the mask and other Queen Helene products.

This is definitely a staple in my skin care routine and I'd continue to use it as long as it works for me.


Here's a photo of me with the mask on LOL!!!!






Thursday, April 2, 2009

Looking for my new Buff'd shade

The past year I matched the shade Buff from mmu company Buff'd.   In fact I have a full size of it.  This year I noticed that it would turn dark on me everytime I wore it.  I don't think I'm acidic because this only happens with Buff'd.   I decided to get a lighter shade to mix with my Buff one.

Good thing I got the Buff'd shades I needed from a package I got last week full of foundation samples.  Here's a few swatches:

Almond is the shade I need to be (a notch lighter than Buff).  I need Antique to add to Buff to get Almond.  I tried Almond and it is a good match.  I could even get a shade more yellow. 

with flash:

I'm wearing:

Almond in the Concealing formula in 1 layer.
Blush is AwG in Radiant
MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner in Petting Pink

The concealing formula really conceals!  It is more heavy in coverage than the Original formula and I'm still debating which one I'll get.  I have the original formula and that is good enough for me.


My one shadow EOTD from last week.

I'm using Lumiere Honey Brown and this was taken 5-6 hours after application.  Primer was Artdeco Eyeshadow base.

AwG Blush swatches

All the Adorned with Grace samples of blushes I have.  They're very pigmented especially the shimmer blushes or glows.  The shimmers aren't over the top and they can be used for daytime wear.

These were all applied dry, no primer.  I swatched them a bit heavily also especially the shimmer blushes.

With flash:

Radiant and Beautiful are both regular blushes while the rest are shimmers or glows.  You can see the sheen in the Glamorous swatch which is one of my faves.  Lovely can stand alone as a blush.

No flash, in natural light, near window:

You can get these blushes from their website.  If you also subscribe to their blog (can be seen on the blog roll on left hand side of my blog), you can be upto date on current promos of their store. AwG rarely holds sales because they're prices are one of the lowest among the mmu companies.