Monday, December 28, 2009

I Love You, Goodbye!


No, I’m not saying this to a boyfriend or a potential romantic partner nor am I referring to the movie produced by Star Cinema for MMFF’09. I’m dedicating this line to my 2009 Belle De Jour Planner. I loved this planner so much that I wrote about all of the good and the bad things that happened to me in year 2009 on the pages of this thingie. I also like the chic and girly design and illustrations which make it a refreshing change from the typical and outright boring planners that we often find in school supplies sections of department stores or in National Bookstore branches.




Every now and then, I get this urge to look back in the past and I always have a great time reading the entries in my planner. The BDJ planner has so many interesting features that make it really useful especially for the busy Pinay. Among all these, I find the menstrual tracker feature really useful lol. I also liked the articles that were  included as each new month was ushered in.



As year 2009 will end in two days, I am now on a look out for a 2010 planner. Do you have any suggestions? Do you think the 2010 BDJ planner is a good buy?

Thanks pips!

Esme Floyd’s 1001 Little Beauty Miracles



A colleague of mine gave me this book about two months ago. I did something for him while he had to go to England to present his study. He gave this to me after his two-week stint abroad. I’m so touched by the gesture because we don’t really talk much. He probably noticed that I’m always made up at work so he chose to give me this. I’m actually glad that he did because I really learned a lot from this. So, if I don’t have time to compose blog entries, I’m thinking of posting some of the beauty tips from this book.



The book’s publisher is Marks & Spencer. Author Esme Floyd is a freelance writer specializing in beauty, health and lifestyle subjects and contributes to numerous UK publications. She has also consulted on television documentaries for Channel 4, Discovery and BBC.

 
Book Summary:

With direct remedies for beauty problems as well as advice on everything from make-up application and skin care to antiageing and fake tanning. 1001 Little Beauty Miracles offers short, simple ways to improve and maintain your natural good looks. It includes helpful hints for such beauty quagmires as tweezing brows, disguising blemishes and making thin hair look luxuriously thick. Even if you’re an ungroomed, nail-biting, hair-yanking, exercise-phobe, these corner-cutting ideas will set you on the path to looking your finest with the minimum of fuss.

Ciao! 

STASH STAPLE: Avon Simply Pretty Shine No More Dual Powder Foundation

Since we met two months ago, I’ve been so in love with Avon’s Simply Pretty Shine No More Dual Powder Foundation. I’ve been using it almost every day since I rushed to our local Avon outlet and purchased it. This foundie had been raved about so much in GT and even gorgeous Khimmy declared it a great dupe for the MAC Studio Fix Pressed Foundation. I use my Everyday Minerals flat top brush to apply this as a finishing powder for my liquid foundation of the day.
Item Blurb:
Avon Shine No More
Dual Powder Foundation SPF 13
Light Beige
Put shine on hold while protecting and keeping your face fresh and clean.
 
Special micro-powders absorb shine while wet/dry formula allows you to control its coverage for a fresh, clean look.  SPF 13 helps shield skin from damaging UVA/UVB rays. Oil free. Dermatologist-tested. Clinically tested. Non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic. Made especially for Asian women.


What’s to Like about it:
· It provides great coverage especially when applied wet. In fact, even with dry application, it is able to cover the freckles near my cheekbones well.
· It is great at controlling oil. Ever since I started to use this, I don’t blot as often as I used to.
· Powder is unscented which is a plus especially for those who are really sensitive with fragranced products.
· It has SPF. Albeit the SPF is low, this is better than having none at all.
· I like that its packaging includes two compartments, one for the powder and another for the sponge. I like how this is designed as I think it is more hygienic this way.
· Really affordable. Retails at around Php 250. You’ll get it at an even lesser price when it goes on sale.

What’s Not to Like about it:
· It comes only in three available shades namely; Light Beige, Natural and Almond. You might not be able to find one that suits your skin tone perfectly.

So, get one for yourself. It’s a win-win situation, anyway. If it suits you then you are able to find a great everyday foundation. If it would not, it would not hurt so much since this is really cheap.

Ciao!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Zoom In On: Mary Kay Crème Lipstick

This is the second Mary Kay product that I am featuring. The first one that I reviewed is their liquid foundation. For a direct selling brand, I am impressed with the products of Mary Kay. My aunt used to give my mom (and she would give them to me lol) some MK goodies before and I was not really able to appreciate their quality not until I makeup items from the other brands. One of the MK products that I really love is their Crème lipsticks. The first shade that I got was Toffee. I got this shade because this would be my go-to lippie when I’m not in the mood to wear pink on my lips (pinks dominate my lippie stash). 

I like the packaging of their lippies coz I find it elegant. The upper surface of the caps has the shade of the lippie displayed so we would be able to tell the shade without having to open the caps. It is similar to that of Nyx only that for the latter, the shade color is displayed on the bottom of the packaging. The brand name “Mary Kay” is then printed in the interior part of the tube. I find the casing really classy. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it seems tad heavier than my other lippies.

 
As their line of lipsticks is crème lipsticks, this is really moisturizing. I never experienced drying of my lips whenever I wear this. It also feels smooth upon application and I feel that it would just glide on my lips. It is pigmented when swatched on hand but I noticed that I would still have to apply this on my lips two to three times to be able to see the shade clearly. Maybe my lips are just very pigmented. This lasts from three to four hours on my lips and sometimes longer esp. when a long-wearing lipgloss is applied on top on it. 
 
Now, would I still buy another MK lippie? Yep, I will. In fact, I just bought another one. It’s shade is Shell Pink. A review of this will be posted soon. At Php 650 a pop, these are really great lippies that won’t break the bank.

P.S. I am not in anyway affiliated with Mary Kay. Except for my aunt (who lives in another province) who I mentioned in this entry, nobody in my family is a member of MK. I am not also paid and contacted by any MK member to publish this. Needless to say, I am raving about their products because I genuinely liked using them. 

Thanks ladies! 

Zoom In On: The Body Shop in Blushing Daisies

The Body Shop or, “TBS” as the girls on GT would simply refer to it, is known for their outstanding skin care line. They also have a makeup line that has many kikays gawking at. I got to know the brand because years before, I knew of somebody who was really in love with the brand’s cheek and lip tint (but some girls said that the new formulation for this dual tint is no longer as good as the one before). Too bad I was not yet into makeup at that time. I was however, in love with their shower gels. I remember that I always gifted my doctors with these back when I was still a med rep.

I only have one TBS makeup item in my stash and this is their blush/highlighter compact in Blushing Daisies. Here are some of my thoughts about this:
 

 
YAYS:

• Size of the compact is really big. IMO, almost as big as a 1 and ¾ of the Loreal Blush Delice.
• The palette has a very attractive design. Based on the accompanying pics, you will see that the blush and shimmery highlighters are made to appear as flower petals. The red bit at the background is the blusher while the white and gold flowers are the highlighters. 
• Very pigmented especially the blush part when swatched. It goes on sheer, however, when applied on the cheeks. 
• Its blush does not have a matte finish. The finish is a cross between satiny and shimmery. 
 

 
NAYS: 

• The shade of this particular blush may not be always suitable for daytime use.
• I find the texture of the blush kinda weird. It feels somewhate spongy.
• Compact does not have a mirror and an applicator. 
• I’m not sure if it is still locally available. I checked TBS’ website and did not find this in their current list of products. 
• Expensive IMO considering that it is not a mainstream cosmetic brand. 
 

I want to try TBS’ Perfecting Foundation and Brushes but I think I’m gonna wait till they go on sale again. What other TBS goodies do you highly reco? 

Thanks ladies!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thanks 2009!

As Year 2009 comes to an end, let me just share 12 things that I am truly thankful for this year:
  • The good health of my parents and my two younger brothers. My mom was diagnosed December last year with Diabetes and had been maintaining Levemir insulin injections since then. I am thankful that God gave us the means to be able to maintain these medications. While her diagnosis was not exactly good news, I am happy that her condition was detected before any serious health complications could set in. I am the only girl among three siblings and I am very close to my parents. While we are not rich, I have always felt contentment that my parents never failed to give me all the things that we needed. When I hear of stories of child abuse on TV, I always whisper a prayer of thanks that I have parents who never even once laid a hand on me as a form of physical punishment.
  • The opportunity to live again with my parents and be a witness to their lives. In the past, I have always insisted in working in Cebu coz I wanted to live independently. This is why I am very happy that this time, I listened to my parents and worked in our province after spending so many years in Cebu where I studied in a college. Since I’m a parasite, I now have more money to spend on things like makeup, clothes, and shoe wear. What’s even better is the fact that cost of living here is less expensive than in any of the other places I have been to. 
  • My “Alex.” It’s now almost seven years since we hooked up but we are still as crazy for each other as we were back in 2003. Whenever I have unanswered prayers, I would always tell myself that it’s okay because I have him. He more than makes up for all the heartbreaks and disappointments I had encountered in my life. 
  • My job. Since I graduated back in 2003, I have never EVER stayed with any employer for more than 2 years. It had been 1.5 years since I worked for my current employer and I’m hoping to break the curse with this one (and I have a good feeling that I will lol.) Where I live, people consider the institution I work for as very reputable and this I was able to prove while working on a case documentation for the CSR projects of Ayala Foundation Inc. Also, my job allows me to wear makeup to work without making me feel so overdressed lol. 
  • Respect and Friendship of Colleagues. It is uber flattering to be trusted and respected by people who have already established good reputations in our place. Despite being practically a newbie, I am glad that my colleagues think that I am capable of handling bigger responsibilities. I am also thankful for all the trainings and seminars that I got to attend (in Bohol and in Cebu) as a representative of our institution. 
  • MBA degree. I am now a Feasibility Study away from graduating with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. I’m also in the running to graduate with honors. My school is no Ateneo or La Salle but hey, we are a Level 3 PAASCU Accredited Institution. That’s just one level lower than the Big Three Universities in the country. And I get to graduate in toga, an experience I didn’t have when I graduated in elementary, HS, and college. 
  • Joanna, Vanessa, Kathy, Aging. For keeping in touch all these years and for allowing me to be there in all their ups and downs. These people breathe life to the word “friendship.” As early as now, I have already made up my mind that these fine women shall be among my bridal entourage. 
  • My Prulife U.K. Premium Fund. I’m glad I decided to invest on this since I really need to spruce up on my long-term savings. Aside from being an investment tool, this also offers an insurance shield feature should I be diagnosed with any serious medical illness. 
  • Renovation of our house. After more than two decades, our house finally got a much-needed facelift lol. We now have a newer, more durable steel roofing which I hope would weather another two decades. And what’s more? All of us now have brand-new rooms that we can use. 
  • Facebook. I admit I am among the last to jump into the FB bandwagon (joined only last Sept.) I’m thankful that I did because it allowed me to reconnect with people I haven’t seen for a long time. 
  • My makeup stash. These babies make me happy every time I see them. My mom would always remark that I have more than enough and that these would take a lifetime for me to use up. Still, I can’t seem to stop myself from buying more.
  • My Blog. As of this writing, I already have 18 followers. This number might be puny compared to the others but I’m happy and flattered that these beautiful people chose to follow my blog.
P.S. I am not posting this entry to brag or whatsoever. I only want to acknowledge and show my appreciation to Bro through this blog for all the blessings he had given me this year.

Zoom In On: NARS Blush in Taos

 
Taos is the most recent acquisition in my Nars loot. I was lemming for a red-toned blush hence, my decision to purchase it. I was ecstatic when I first saw it because I really liked how it looked like from the pan.
YAY:
· In terms of pigmentation, this does not disappoint. Indeed, Nars rocks in this area.
· Very long-wearing.
· When applied correctly, will give you a flush that is reminiscent to how we usually look like after an intense physical workout.
· I find this very appropriate especially during night-outs and during those very rare occasions when you are forced to join presentations in company events lol.
NAY:
· Price is very prohibitive for many. (Php 1,350 a piece)
· Rubber casing attracts dirt like crazy.
· You need a STIPPLING BRUSH for this. Because it is too pigmented, it has to be applied with a very light hand or else, you will end up looking like a clown who is about to attend a children’s party lol.

Ciao!

Stash Staple: Maybelline Clear Smooth Extra Shine Free Powder Foundation

I have always associated price with quality. This is the reason why I work my butt off to be able to afford pricier make up items. As what my colleague would always say, our face deserves only the best products that we can afford. While this had always been my mindset, I would always feel ecstatic when I find items that work without breaking the bank.
One of the cheap thrills I discovered is the Maybelline Clear Smooth Extra Powder Foundation. I have been reading raves about this online but I was not compelled to purchase it until I read about Rissa Mananquil recommending this on her weekly Phil. Star column. She said that this is one of the best-kept secrets of runway makeup artists. She shared that she started buying this when one of the makeup artists used this on her for a retouch.
Maybelline New York Clear Smooth Extra Shine Free Powder Foundation in Natural

What I like about it:
  • Very easy on the wallet at only Php 349. Even if I would retouch countless times, I won’t feel bad because this is so affordable.
  • Accessible as it is available in all beauty sections of department stores nationwide. 
  • I love the baby blue shade of the packaging. 
  • Has SPF 20 
  • Comes with a mirror and a sponge making it very travel-friendly
  • Can be used wet or dry 
  • Very effective in hiding the freckles on top of my cheeks 
  • Good at keeping oils at bay especially when applied wet
What I don’t like about it:
  • Packaging does not look elegant. I find the casing of Avon’s pressed powders more attractive than this
  • Available shades are limited
  • Tends to cake especially when applied wet 
  • As I am acidic, this darkens on me two to three hours after I apply it 
  • It does not have a separate compartment where a used sponge or latex applicator can be placed 
Thanks ladies! 

Zoom In On: NARS Blush in Orgasm

I realized that I have not posted an entry about one of my all-time favourite blushes yet and so here goes. Nars Blush in Orgasm is hailed by various magazines worldwide as the most universally flattering blush. I remembered feeling this strong urge to purchase it when I read about the raves of top-model, Rissa Manangquil, in her weekly column in Phil. Star about it. She said the name is so “apt” as it lends you a glow that resembles a “morning-after flush” (wink2x).
Brand Blurb: Nars Orgasm
Made with transparent pigments for a soft and sheer look. Imparts a natural, healthy glow for any skin tone and may be worn alone or layered together for more depth and intensity.
Provides a sheer, natural hint of color
Made with transparent pigments to avoid heaviness

YAY:
  • It really flatters my skin tone. I would always get compliments from my colleagues whenever I wear this.
  •  Its shimmer are so subtle and lends one’s face with an instant glow. 
  • It is long-wearing. It stays put on my cheeks even in the midst of humidity for several hours. 
  • Nars blushes, in general, are very pigmented so it would only take a few swipes to make it show.
NAY:
  • Pricey at Php 1,350 a pop.
  • While its rubber packaging looks uber elegant, it easily attracts dirt and glitters.
  • Contrary to its claim, it does not suit a wide range of skin tones. In fact, I personally know of friends who despair that Orgasm does not show up on their cheeks despite repeated applications. 
  • Has several dupes. If you search thoroughly online, you will find out that there are so many cosmetic brands with blush shades that are comparable to Orgasm.
Thanks ladies!


FOTD:

Eyes:           Revlon High Dimension Eyeliner In Garnet Flash
                                   Avon Longest Lashes Ever in Blackest Black
                                   Laura Mercier Secret Concealer for undereye area
                                   Loreal Colour Fresco Eyeshadow in Bubbly
Face:            Olay Total Effects Tinted Moisturizer
                                   Neutrogena Waterlight SunBlock
                                   Mary Kay Medium Coverage Liquid Foundation in Ivory 200
                                   Maybelline Clear Smooth Dual Foundation in Natural
                                   Nars Blush in Orgasm
Lips:               Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Rhubarb
                                 Nyx Round Lipstick in Thalia
                                  MAC Lip Varnish in Polish Me Pink

Thanks ladies!

Stash Staple: E.L.F. Contour Blush and Bronzing Powder

The E.L.F. (Eyes.Lips.Face) brand is an answered prayer for babes who are into prettifying themselves but are not up to spending huge chunks of their moolah for cosmetics. The brands used to exclusively sell their products abroad but recently, their items had already been made available in the local beauty stores like SM Beauty Dept. and Watson’s. The Studio Line product line, however, has not been launched in the Phils. as of this writing. One of the most popular items in this product line would have to be the Contour Blush / Bronzing Powder. This is said to be a dupe of the equally popular Nars Orgasm / Laguna duo. 
I bought this from an online friend at less than Php 500. I was pleasantly surprised to see that indeed, it has the same packaging of Nars albeit the rubbery texture of the casing. I remembered being amused when I read from a certain blog that “E.L.F. is making it their mission to be copycats of Nars.” It is a little larger than the latter in terms of size but the pigmentation of both the blusher and the bronzer are almost at par with that of Nars. The bronzer, in particular, is very pigmented so only one or two swipes is needed for this to show up on any skin tone. The blusher, on the other hand, is considered to be a very good dupe of the famed Orgasm. However, in my opinion, it looks more like Nars Deep Throat. They both show up nicely on my cheeks. However, I don’t always use them together as I am not that good at using the bronzer for contouring. I tend to use them only one at a time. I apply the bronzer alone only during those very few times that I want an illusion of a tan. I also like the mirror that came with the compact since it allows me to view my entire face without having to move the mirror a lot. It also does not easily attract dirt since it does not have the same rubbery texture as the Nars packaging.


The only downside with this duo is that its staying power is not that outstanding. This does not bother me though since the affordable price does not make me feel bad about retouching multiple times a day. The powders are also a bit crumbly so I suggest that you use a very light hand when swiping your blush brushes over these babies. 
 
Final Say: A Certified Steal for me. So, for girls on a budget, this is one makeup item that you would want in your kikay kit.

Thanks ladies!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Stash Staple: Mary Kay Medium-Coverage Liquid Foundation

For my first entry under "stash staple", I am featuring one of the liquid foundations that I often reach out for. Yes, I prefer liquid foundies over the other formulations because I find that these last longer on me than powder foundation alone. One of my foundation staples is Mary Kay Medium-Coverage Liquid Foundation in Ivory 200.
Item Description:
Normal to Oily Skin
Suitable for sensitive skin. Oil-free. Non-comedogenic.
Dermatologist-tested.
Smooth on foundation for a flawless finish. Helps control excess oil.
1 Fl. Oz. / 29 mL.
Php 650.00. Available through Mary Kay dealers.

I like this because:
• It lasts long on me. I usually apply this at 8 a.m. and it would last even after 7 p.m.
• I find the tube casing very compact and convenient to carry along anywhere.
• The packaging is hygienic because I only get to touch the amount of foundation that I’m going to use. In my opinion, the container is also sturdier and of better quality than that of the Maybelline liquid foundations.
• I also like the pink and white colors of the packaging as I found it very feminine.
• While the container looks small on sight, it packs on so much product because even after using it almost every day for the last three months, I am still not even halfway through the product.
• Considering the quality and the contents of the item, I consider this a very cost-effective buy.
• Very helpful indeed in keeping the oilies at bay. I observed that my oil blotting films are not that drenched with facial oil when I’m using this.

I don’t like this because:
• The product gives only medium coverage. This might not be the best choice for those who prefer full coverage foundations.
• The shade options are very limited. I got the one in Ivory 200 and the only other shade was "Beige." I’m lucky that I’m able to get away with wearing the former.
• This would not be easily accessible especially if you don’t know any Mary Kay dealer.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Zoom In On: MAC Viva Glam Warm Lip Palette

You are a certified kikay if you are familiar with MAC ( Makeup Art Cosmetics). After all, this brand is known for its quality products ranging from lippies, lip glosses, foundations, brushes and eyeshadows. While it may not carry the most affordable makeup products, its items are of top-notch quality that for many, buying MAC items are likened to making good investments.

My most expensive MAC purchase so far was a MAC Viva Glam lip palette that features a lip gloss and two lipstick shades from the Viva Glam collection. It came with a mini lip brush that can be used for application. I bought this after being so impressed with the MAC lip varnishes (Polish Me Pink and Speed Demon) which I bought latter part of 2008. The Viva Glam collection was one of the brand’s most popular collections and many were raving about the lippies as they were deemed to be the most appropriate and flattering to use especially in special occasions and events like weddings.


I found the casing of the lip palette very attractive. The maroon red metallic container etched with a Victorian design really appealed to me visually. It took weeks before I first used this as I was contented with just looking at it. I like the texture of the lippies as it is very moisturizing. Pigmentation is also super as only few swatches are needed to make it visible on my lips. I also like the brand’s trademark vanilla scent.
 
While I generally like this, the shades of the warm palette were not really on top of my list as I tend to veer towards pinks. I also found this very inconvenient to use especially when I’m on the go since this would require that I use a lip brush. Nonetheless, as pricey as it is at Php 1,800, this is very cost-effective as it is like buying two MAC lipsticks and one MAC lip gloss at one time. I am however entertaining thoughts of selling this and buying MAC lippies instead. I am referring to the ones that are encased in bullet-shaped casings that can be easily used even when I’m mobile. Care to give me recos on what MAC lippie shades to get?

Thanks!! 



P.S. 

I have let go of many of the blushes that I listed in the past. But I have also acquired new ones since then. My NARS blushes have now grown from one to six. My most recent purchases were Deep Throat and Taos.  I also got a new Cargo in Mendocino which I got at such a bargain price. Hay naks! I hope I’d get over this blush obsession phase soon.