Friday, July 31, 2015

Lip Balm with a Peppermint Kick: Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

Lip Balm (along with hand cream) is probably one of the most basic (and unsung) skin care essentials. I mean, I can't imagine going through a whole day without these in my bag. That said, I always have a tube of lip balm in the house especially the places I frequently visit: near my bedside, in the bathroom, in my Mom's room, etc. If I don't have any handy, I get all uneasy and keep licking/pursing my lips together which results to -- you guessed it -- dry and cracked lips. Yuck!

So understandably, I have my preferences when it comes to the "perfect" lip balm: non-sticky, gentle/hypoallergenic, peppermint-flavored, with SPF (I can let this slide depending on how much I love the formula), moisturizing, and must not take forever to settle.

I've been pretty happy with my Hurraw Lip Balm from Cutieverse and been loyal to it for over 2 years, but now that I'm running out I'm willing to try others that I have in my stash. I've accumulated quite a handful from brands and the one that piqued my interest this time is the Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

The original. The best. And still your favorite. Our must-have balms have been playing in purses and pockets since 1991. Beeswax conditions skin, while antioxidant Vitamin E moisturizes. A final hint of Peppermint Oil provides that one-of-a-kind refreshing tingle. The result? Smooth, supple lips everyone will be buzzing about. 
Price: Php 325/4.25g 
Where to buy: Beauty Bar

Monday, July 27, 2015

Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies Waterproof Mascara in Black

During one of our beauty sessions, I ranted to Ae of An Artechoke that most mascaras really smudge on me and it's getting quite frustrating. Ae mentioned that it probably wasn't the fault of the mascaras I've tried; rather, have I ever considered that my eyes were the problem? Hmmm..that was a good argument, and I urged her to explain. She studied my eyes meticulously and scientifically for a minute, and deduced that the shape of my chinita eyes plus my numerous facial reactions cause my upper lids to touch the skin under my eyes constantly. Thus even if I apply waterproof mascara, the constant contact displaces the mascara and makes it smudge eventually. 

Now while this wasn't the first time someone looked into/at my eyes intently (hrhr), I am inclined to believe her because she is more the makeup aficionado than me plus she has one of the best eyebrows in the business. And ladies, here's some beauty wisdom: never trust anyone who has bad eyebrows. 

So that being said, I started to look at mascaras differently and (I dare say) have become somewhat a little forgiving of their shortcomings. Seeing as I am about to throw out my favorite HD Mascara as it's gone beyond the 6-month shelf life, I broke open the Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies one which I got as a press gift 2 months back just to see how a drugstore brand would fare. 

Lash glam, instantly!

  • Patented Spoon Brush fans out lashes from corner-to-corner, while our Pro-Keratin formula instantly builds volume without clumping 
  • Unique flexible wand helps to lift and separate lashes to provide the look of 300% more visible, fuller lashes, no gaps from any angle 
  • Contact lens safe and ophthalmologist-tested 
  • Waterproof, also available in Washable formula 

Price: Php 459
Where to buy: malls and drugstores

Friday, July 24, 2015

Koji Curving Eyelash Curler

This month started just a teeny bit crazy. People who work in sales will agree that our schedules tend to be erratic and at times, unbearable even. But I'm glad that I get to "chill" a bit this week and breathe a little, even squeeze in a couple of blog posts before the weekend.

Anyway, this is a quick review on my favorite eyelash curler which was sent by Koji last year when I was still working as BizDev Officer of Glamourbox. I had intended to review it sooner but forgot, although I have been using it religiously ever since I got it.

Like everyone else, I went through a Shu Uemura phase, then moved on to Fanny Serrano's version (which people say is an acceptable dupe), discovered the Koji Curving Eyelash Curler (Php 995~) and never looked back. Dramatic, no?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

#FreeInMySkin: The New Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy & Calming Relief Range

Having sensitive or sensitized skin (from testing too many products for example) is a lot more common than you think. I personally suffer from dermatitis, bumps, and rashes due to too much sun exposure and I know first hand how it can affect one's confidence. My job entails me to meet several clients in a day, so imagine how embarrassing it is to have rough bumps on my forehead due to skin sensitivities. Recently, I blogged about using Physiogel to hopefully alleviate my skin condition, religiously using the Daily Moisture Therapy Cream alternating with AI Cream every night. 

With Physiogel deeply inculcated in my skin care routine, I was more than happy to attend the "Free In My Skin" event a couple of weeks ago at Makati Shangri-la. This movement aims to increase awareness on what Physiogel can do to free women from dry and sensitive skin. 

Research from the GSK Skin Health Asia Pacific Consumer Report 2014 shows that more than 50% of women across Asia experience sensitive face and body skin in the past 12 months. One out of two women will not visit a skincare professional for their skin condition. The same study shows that 71% and 61% of Filipinas have sensitive face and body skin, respectively.
What causes skin sensitivity?

Sensitive skin can be caused by a multitude of factors -- from climactic harshness and pollutants in the air and water to hormonal factors and stress that is further compounded by the use of cosmetics -- these are the everyday problems that women face. Dry skin is defined to be where one’s natural lipid layers in the skin lose its ability to retain enough moisture, it usually feels itchy, rough, and scaly. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

L'Oreal Color Riche Collection Star Matte Reds: Pure Brick and Pure Garnet

Everyone knows the power of a red lip. I mean, you can just keep your face pretty much bare and throw on a red lipstick and still look put together, which is pretty much what I do most of the time. Or you can treat red lips as a confidence-boosting final touch to an already smoking hot look. There's a reason all these bombshells wear red after all. 

The L'Oreal Color Riche Star Matte Reds (Php 525) come in 7 different variations of red, each made with a particular ambassador and skin tone in mind. My favorite from the range would be Pure Brick (Aishwarya) and Pure Garnet (Freida).

Friday, July 17, 2015

Exploring Batanes: South Batan

We all know that Batanes is gorgeous (even if you haven't been there, just Google and you'll pull up amazing photos), but it's interesting that people say North Batan and Sabtang Island are only mere preparations for South Batan as it's said to be the most beautiful of them all. Really?! I mean, we were already so impressed with the hills on the first day, how could any place be more breathtaking? We were about to find out as we prepared ourselves for the South Batan tour. 

Now because I hurt my right foot swimming in Sabtang Island (hello, reef beach!), I had to wear flip flops for the duration of the tour. And once in a while I'd check my band-aid because the cut would hurt while walking up and down the hills :( So ladies, I cannot stress the importance of Aqua shoes when you're headed to Batanes, especially if you're planning to swim. 

Here are some of the places we visited in South Batan. No need to take the faluwa (yay!), we just had Kuya Dennix (our tour guide) and Kuya Dante (our driver). 


Can I just say, the weather in Batanes is the perfect blend of warm, sunny, and windy. And yes, you will get a tan for sure even with sunblock on. Anyway, chawa in Ivatan means cliff and the Chawa Viewing Deck features a grotto with a 150-step stone staircase that leads tourists downwards to the base of the cliff. It's the first spot you'll see as you head out of Basco on the way to Mahatao. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Skinwhite #BetterMe Campaign

I'm not one to encourage people to whiten/lighten their skin just so they can please society, but I do respect what other people want to do in order to gain the confidence they need to finish the job. Whatever floats your boat, I always say. The harsh reality is people still look at skin color and judge people accordingly, when in fact it has nothing to do with one's ability and credibility. 

Being at the receiving end of so many condescending comments when I first turned darker, I understood the stigma (so harsh a word but you know what I mean) of not being the typical definition of pretty. I can only imagine how hard it is to be a teen nowadays: trying to excel in school, struggling to make sense of everything that's happening physically and emotionally, while staying true to who you really are. Sometimes I browse my social media platforms and wonder how these young people are able to cope with so much pressure to stand out, to outdo everyone (on Instagram and FB where everyone's life seems so curated and perfect), or even fit in. At the expense of being called a Tita (har-har), I'm so glad I didn't have FB and Instagram when I was growing up. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dreaming of long, lush lashes with Nutraluxe Lash MD

As much as I love applying mascara in the morning and discovering new mascara/lash lengthening brands, sometimes you just want to go au naturel. You know what I mean? If we can have "permanent" lush lashes every day, why not?

I'm not a stranger to lush lengthening products as I've tried quite a few in the past (please see past feature here) with some not even seeing the light of day in this blog. Bottomline is, I haven't really found one that can exceptionally lengthen and thicken lashes in the long run. 

When I received a sample of Nutraluxe Lash MD, I was more than willing to try it out. After all, some blogs have declared its efficacy and I (the willing guinea pig) was excited to review (and debunk if ever) to see if it does work its magic on sparse Asian lashes. 

A highly-rated eyelash serum that promises a noticeably lusher lashline. Gives you longer, thicker, fuller, and darker lashes; natural antioxidants protect each strand from environmental damage; can also be applied to eyebrows to fill in gaps; alcohol-free, fragrance-free, physician-formulated, and ophthalmologist tested. 
Price: Php 2,650/1.5ml
Where to buy:

Monday, July 13, 2015

Smooth & Hair-free: Revlite Laser Treatment at Skinhouse

One thing I don't regret having done is underarm laser hair removal last year. It's true that being hairless immensely makes life more convenient, and makes dressing up in the morning so much easier. And especially if you beach often, not having to fuss about random hair and other fuzz is a godsend. 

With hair out of the way, let's focus on another common problem ladies face which is having dark or uneven skin tone. And Revlite, the newest treatment everyone is raving about, aims to improve all that. 

I am no stranger to Revlite as I've had 4 sessions done last year on the face, and my facialist really noticed the difference on the dermal level. This time, Joanne Yu (owner of Skinhouse) reached to me and invited me to try out Revlite for the underarms. 

As I've had experience with Skinhouse (Mayon branch) in the past as a paying customer, I was confident that I'd be satisfied with the experience in their newest branch in Pioneer, Mandaluyong. 

Skinhouse Pioneer just opened last June and the interiors of this branch is a quick departure form the clinical ambiance of the Mayon branch. Located in Pioneer Centre (a couple of minutes from the Pioneer MRT Station), this one is more relaxed, more posh, and decidedly bigger. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Doing a double take on Vaseline Petroleum Jelly

When I had this mean streak about eliminating all products with chemicals in it, petroleum jelly was tops on my list. Leftover product from oil rigging machines? Ugh. I couldn't imagine putting that stuff on my face, or on my skin for that matter. So I shunned petroleum jelly for a long time, even when my Mom kept singing it praises. It softens skin like magic, she says. 

Still, it took me a couple of years (and a brief moment of clarity) to give this venerable beauty staple a try. I was packing for my first ever surf trip and didn't know what to bring beauty-wise. I looked into my cabinet of press gifts and saw this unassuming tube just waiting to be noticed. I figured, this might come in handy....for what I just didn't know yet. 

What is petroleum jelly anyway? Discovered in 1859 in Pennsylvania, workers disliked this paraffin-like product forming on oil rigs because it caused their machines to malfunction. A young chemist then decided to study this goo and then further refined it, in the process he came out with what we all know now as petroleum jelly. For those who are scared, no worries because it's triple purified for safety and skin compatibility (at least the Vaseline brand is).

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Exploring Batanes: Sabtang Island

We were so pooped from the first day's shenanigans that we couldn't believe it when our tour guide, Dennix, said he'll pick us up at 6:00am for Sabtang. Are you kidding?! Hoo boy. But by some miracle we were up and about and done with breakfast a little before 6am, thanks to Christa being our alarm clock and waking us up at 4:45am.

The reason we needed to be up so early is because the day's activities are based on the faluwa schedule. The faluwa is the local boat (ferry, if you will) which takes tourists, locals, merchants to Sabtang Island. There are 10 islands total in Batanes but only 3 are inhabited, and Sabtang is one of them.

The whole trip takes approximately 30 minutes and from here you can already catch a glimpse of Sabtang Island in the horizon. If I remember correctly each faluwa can accommodate 80 people. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Post-Summer Sale: Bikinis!

I totally forgot to bring these at the last Bloggers United! Anyway, in the quest to whittle down fluff and excess things in my life, I scoured my bikini pile and decided to let go of these babies. And since surfing (hopefully) will be a staple in my life, I have to stick with the basics.

A neon orange number that will stop traffic! Seriously, the color really is that shocking! Crocheted-inspired yet fully lined, this will show off your beautiful hard-earned tan. Top is fully-padded, too. This is practically brand new. Fits XS-S (adjustable).

Price: Php 550/set

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Physiogel is my new skin savior

I'm sort of feeling in the dumps now. A mix of being tired physically and the cool weather, plus I think I might be coming down with the sniffles soon though I hope my daily intake of hot green tea wards it off. I haven't been sick in a long time and I'd like to think it's all the antioxidants I've been taking. Plus, I miss travelling. It's the only cure that works I think.

Ironically, my tea bag is telling me to dance and have some fun,
Anyway, I wanted to tell you all about my switch to Physiogel. It started when I couldn't seem to alleviate the stubborn and itchy bumps on my face post-beach. I remember my derma used to tell me my skin couldn't tolerate too much sun exposure or sweating, but look at me so stubborn and all, trying to surf every couple of weeks. So this is what happened:

Monday, July 6, 2015

NOTD: #281 Classy by Revlon

There's something very sophisticated about nude nails and this muted peach hue by Revlon is a longtime favorite. I don't remember exactly how long I've been using it, all I know it was sent as a press sample a few years back.

What's your favorite muted nail polish? 
Share them with me in the comments :)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Fact: I waste my life on Instagram

Wait, that came out a bit harsh. What I meant was, I waste so much time on Instagram gawking at beauty products (if you have Sukin on your feed I'd stalk you!), bikinis (OMG, I can get lost for hours), desserts (anything with custard, please), travel photos (to add to my bucket list), the distractions go on. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who has this dilemma. And I'm pretty damn sure if my manager read this, he'd say I should spend more time on client calls, hihi.

Just the other day a brand followed me on Instagram, I checked her feed and liked what I saw, followed her back, ended up chatting with the owner, next thing I know I was reserving something. Oh boy.

So please tell me I am not alone. How much time do you spend on Instagram (viewing, commenting, liking, or *gasp* buying)? How often do you succumb to beautifully staged photos and pretty layouts?

photo source

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Using up the last bits of my Raw Elements EcoFormula 30+ Lotion

It's sad that Cutieverse isn't carrying Raw Elements anymore because it really is one of the most effective sunscreens out there. When we surfed without sunscreen a couple of weeks back (stupid idea, I know), I tanned majorly but my friend was burned. I lent her my Raw Elements when we surfed again the next day and she noticed that it worked better than her drugstore sunscreen -- there was hardly any burning or stinging, and it stays on well even during prolonged water immersion. I, on the other hand, appreciate the fact that my skin tolerates the formula as anything with silicones (in large quantities) would make my skin go loco (read: make me breakout or give me dermatitis).

The lotion formula though is not for every day use. It's rather too thick and pasty, and if you have combi skin you might find that it leaves a tacky feel on the skin. But if you're at the beach, you can lather it on with impunity because you'll be in the water most of the time anyway and nobody cares if your face is whiter than the rest of your body. Coincidentally, it's also my face that tans the most due to the sun's reflection on the water, I have yet to have that even enviable tan as it's my chest that's the fairest still (I'll reserve that for another blog post siguro).

Another thing, I brought this with me to Batanes and I wasn't scared about layering or re-applying several times a day because the formula is, well, organic so I know it won't clog pores. Raw Elements has won recognition as the best organic sunscreen by EWG, FYI, and that gave me some sort of assurance regarding its skin-friendliness.

And for those of you who've been to Batanes, you know how hot is over there during the months of April - June. This is my face after climbing the hills in Tinyan Viewpoint:

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Missing Komiki Every Day

I woke up at 3:30 am today and couldn't go back to sleep. I was half expecting Komiki to push open the door (I always leave it ajar), prance into the room, and wake me up with her snorting. She usually does that at wee hours in the morning, and I gladly oblige by carrying and placing her on the bed. She usually sleeps at my feet while Epsilon sleeps beside me. But sadly no matter how much I expect Komiki to show up, I know she never will. And once again my heart breaks as I try to lull myself to sleep in order to wake up early for tomorrow's meetings.

You see, I never intended to write a blog post on Komiki's passing. I felt it was too sudden, too painful, too unnecessary. But as I found myself weeping while going through her photos on my mobile, I figured I might as well just to let it all out.

The story is, Komiki was a rescue (and I proudly share that fact with everyone) and was given to us by a local neighborhood pet store because she was deemed unsaleable due to her condition. She was tiny for 6 months, had a hernia, and was riddled with mange. She was cute but we didn't need her, but we willingly spent Php10,000 to have her rehabilitated. When she was cured, the vet brought her back to us and I said, "I can't afford another dog, just sell her." The vet encouraged me to keep her, so I did but was unsure. I had P-nut then, my pride and joy.