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NARS Audacious Lipsticks Review (Deborah & Vivien)

P1160020Hello, dear beauty junkies! :) Happy Sunday! Today I’m going to talk about the NARS Audacious Lipsticks (1,650. Php), which I have in the shades Deborah and Vivien. NARS released 40 (!) shades in this formula in celebration of their 20th anniversary. It was difficult to choose which shades to get as there were just so many to pick from, but it was easy to eliminate half before the selection process even began because those 20 were much too light. Still, from the remaining 20, it was an effort to make a shortlist of 10 shades (btw, I used Temptalia’s overview of all the shades to aid the narrowing down process).

When I visited the NARS counter to try the shades, I was disappointed by Liv and Ingrid, which are shades that I think a lot of people were really excited about. They were a bit difficult to work with and I had also just purchased MAC Smoked Plum, so I couldn’t justify picking up either shade. Another colour I thought I was set on but did not end up getting was Audrey, which is described as a “muted, warm-toned reddish-plum.” It just pulled way too red on me, and so Vivien (also muted, but more on the plum end) was what I picked up instead. As for Deborah, which is a “chestnut” shade… well, read on to find out why I picked her up. ;)

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Forbidden Fruit: Happy Skin’s Christmas Lippies — Swatched & Worn!

Can you believe it’s only been a year since Happy Skin made its debut? I feel like they have just as much influence/presence as some older, more well-established brands already. They (Jacqe Yuengtian-Gutierrez and Rissa Mananquil-Trillo) have done such an excellent job at… well, everything. Of course, it starts with the products, but they’ve definitely got the marketing and business side of things down as well. It’s admirable to say the least and I only wish them the very best and of course thank them too for making such drool-worthy, exciting products. This is the kind of stuff the beauty-obssessed girl in me lives for, and what makes it 10x more awesome is that this a Filipino brand.

So yes, Happy Birthday, Happy Skin! :) I might not be the brand’s biggest fan (because omg some people go cray for these lippies and collect all of them), but I’d say I give them tough love for good reason (see: Battle of the Micellar Waters: Bioderma vs. Happy Skin) while still supporting them. ;) Now on to this Christmas set! P1160189Having this “Forbidden Fruit” set (1,399.00 Php) of Shut Up & Kiss Me Lippies brings the count up to 7 in my collection. You’ll remember the first trio I picked up back in the summer (Turn Up The Heat set) and Honeymoon Kiss, the only single shade I felt compelled to purchase. Happy Skin launched this set, a second trio called Sealed With A Kiss (1,299.00 Php), a set of pencil eyeliners, an eyeshadow palette (!), a corrector, and lip and cheek mousse all in one go in celebration of their birthday. (more…)

Bioderma’s Long-Awaited Philippine Debut

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 6.00.42 PMTwo weeks ago (as my instagram post can tell you, hehe) I attended the official launch of Bioderma into the Philippine market. That’s right–it’s offish! You can now pick up the world-famous micellar water from the brand at Watson’s branches nationwide. It’s not just the Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution that’s come in, though. You can now enjoy Bioderma’s entire range of skincare. The brand launch was the perfect opportunity for me (and, consequently, you guys too) to get to know the brand better as a whole. After everything was said and done, I was beyond ecstatic to be able to say that this French brand has washed up on our shores.  P1150935The night before the press launch, Bioderma also held an event for dermatologists around the Philippines. The brand really focuses on helping the skin repair itself and remain healthy with the help of natural biological ingredients. Our host for the afternoon, Bianca Valerio, filled us in on the brand’s innovative approach to the world of skincare: with a model of healthy skin in mind, the concept of biological mimetism to guide, and a driven mission towards dermatological safety. Ok so now you are wondering: what is this “biological mimetism” hullaballoo? (more…)

FOTD feat. Sigma Gel Liner in Unexpected and Stila Smudge Stick in Navy

FOTD3Hi, guys! Just sharing a look I wore last week to match a dress. I don’t usually do match-matchy makeup, but sometimes I’m just in that strange sort of mood. Above is the only full-body shot I have of the dress; you can zoom in to see it up close. I wore it to my dad’s alumni homecoming night last week, where he received an award for outstanding corporate governance from his college. He went to the University of the Philippines, Los Baños, which is known for being a pioneer in agricultural studies. As you can see behind us, the magsasaka (farmer) and tamaraw stand proudly as the symbols of the school.

FOTDrOn to the look! I quite liked the mix of muted pastels with the solid navy blue panel on the dress I wore, so I worked that into the look by using a navy blue Stila Smudge Stick. On my upper lash line, I went in with a grey gel liner from Sigma (Unexpected), and the rest of my look is very soft and pastel. (more…)

My Ellana Blush Collection

EBA1It was really only right that I title this post the way I have… of the five available blush duos from Ellana, I have four. I don’t plan on picking up the last one (Flirtation/Fetish) in the near future because it looks a little too light for my skin tone, but I might be tempted to complete the collection one day. For now though, I’m quite happy with these four. You’ve already seen my review of Obsession/Fulfilment, and now I have Bunny/Ecstasy, Kitten/Peach Passion, and Light Roast/Butter Rum Coffee to add to the mix. Got them in Ellana’s awesome new packaging, too! EBA2Ok, so each of these will set you back just 460.00 Php and you essentially get two blushes in one so that’s an awesome deal, in case I need to spell it out for you. They are all extremely soft and pigmented, which is good in a lot of ways but it can also be a bit of a challenge to work with at times. Still, I love the shades Ellana put together and as you’ll see in a bit, these are definitely worth picking up.  (more…)

Bad Skin Days

We all have them. And I have them much too often thanks to stress from school — but hey, life goes on and the world isn’t going to stop because of your bad skin day, no matter how much you wish it would.

There are a number of different ways you can deal with bad skin days:

  1. Put some extra effort into making your hair look good (pretty hair can work wonders);
  2. Bring out the heavy-duty concealers and foundations (least recommended option);
  3. Treat the skin as best you can by using light makeup and treatment-infused products; or
  4. Don’t leave the house. Period.

I don’t stick to any one method and I have tried each at least once in my life– #2 being the most frequently resorted to, even though it is terrible for already-stressed-out skin. I like option #1 a lot because fab hair is always a mood-booster. Not leaving the house is just not an option when you have to (duh), and option #3 is the most sensible. Here’s my attempt at being kind to my skin on a bad day:  (more…)

A Different Kind of Subscription Service: She Likes Shoes

Do you like shoes? I most certainly do and I think a good number of women would respond to that question with a “yes” in a heartbeat. That being said, there are degrees of liking shoes. I have a friend who owns close to 70 (!) pairs — each of them unique and well-loved. Other still have closets set up just to display their shoe collections. I’m not quite at that point (I would call myself more of a bag person), but I do like having more than just the basics when it comes to footwear. My personal “collection” consists of close to 30 pairs, some of which I share with my mom. 

I have wanted to revamp my shoe game for a while, but I just don’t have the time to spend hours in a department store’s shoe department (although I would love that). Thank goodness for online shopping and subscription services –that’s right, a subscription service is part of the solution to my problem! Enter She Likes Shoes

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She Likes Shoes is the first and only shoe subscription service in the Philippines. It works exactly the same way as with beauty sub boxes, but with shoes! How awesome is that? For a relatively small amount of money, you get access to SLS’s monthly closets and one or two shoes, depending on which STEP you’ve picked (we’ll get into that again later). So, here’s what you gotta do:  (more…)

Just In & Technical Difficulties

Hi guys! Before I show you what I picked up yesterday, I have to let you know that I’ve been experiencing some technical difficulties. I’m posting this from my iPad because my laptop has decided to be difficult. And just as I’m about to write a very important paper, too! It also means I don’t have anything to process photos from my camera on at the moment, so the photos below are from my phone. We’ll see if it can be fixed or if I have to get a new one, but in the meantime, if you see less from me, you know why.
Moving on to this awesome Burt’s Bees thinger I picked up yesterday:
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I was in Beauty Bar to pick up a new Burt’s lip balm, but of course my eyes had to go over the rest of the display as well. I saw this super cute bag/pouch that looked like a bag organizer and before I knew it my hands were wrapped around it. It had a price tag hanging off of it that read 750.00 Php so I thought–that better have stuff in it too! And it does! :)
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Inside are mini sizes of the Shea Butter Hand Repair Cream and Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. I already own the full-sized Hand Repair Cream (950.00 Php on its own), but it is quite large so this smaller one takes up a lot less space in my bag. I’ve been trying to kick the habit of biting the skin around my nails, so I use hand cream pretty often. It makes sense that I should have the Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream too, then! The one in this set is tiny, but again it’s perfect to chuck in your bag. The full size is not too large either, but it costs around 450 Php alone I think. 750 is not too bad of a deal for those two things plus the bag, in my opinion. I will definitely be using all three!

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A bee hive and a honey bee charm on each end of the pulls. I honestly don’t know if this is a new release, but I am sure it isn’t a permanent offer. Burt’s offers a number of trial sets, but not all of them come with a pretty pouch like this one. So check it out ASAP if you want it! :)

Again, I’m struggling with technology at the moment (what’s new), but I’ll try to keep posting stuff, albeit a little more on the informal end. You can also follow me on Instagram: @ianabantug. :)

Can’t Say No To Pretty Things — Shiseido Ltd. Ed. Compact & UV Protective Foundation

I can’t remember the last time I bought something from Shiseido, but I feel like it’s always been a part of my life. My mom used both their liquid and powder foundations when I was younger and I remember the blue green and orange packaging distinctly. I also remember the smell, which is very … sublock-y, but not in an unpleasant way.  Still, I never really bothered with their base products. In part because I associated them with my mom (this is becoming less and less of a bad thing as I age), but predominantly because as a Japanese brand, their shade selection doesn’t extend into dark skin territory.

Recently though, while walking around the mall, this pretty compact sitting in the store’s window display caught my eye:

PSC1Definitely not the usual Shiseido blue green and orange. I couldn’t help but make a turn into the store to investigate. It’s shaped very much (if not exactly) like Shiseido’s usual compact cases, but the design is limited edition, inspired by the 70s, “Shiseido’s heritage, the summer ocean, traditional kimonos, peace, and eternity.” There was a second similar design but this one was calling my name. Strange, too, as I don’t usually gravitate toward blue hues. 
PSC2The compact foundation case is sold separately from the foundation and I had several to choose from (although not all of Shiseido’s foundations will fit in this case — just the round ones). I went with the UV Protective Foundation SPF 35 PA +++ (1,900 Php) because it’s supposed to be “very water resistant” and it came in the widest range of shades.  (more…)

Meet My New Frames from Get Glasses Online!

Some of you might already know that I need distance glasses for driving and…uhm, seeing things from a distance. Lol. I just started wearing glasses this year and it’s taken some getting used to, but I do appreciate that I can see the world in HD now. There was also the bit where I had to get used to having another accessory to take care of. I lost my first pair after just a month, and so I had to get my second pair in a hurry.

GGoldThese are my black Ray Ban frames. I love them but barely two months into owning them, I started thinking about getting another pair in a lighter frame colour. I sometimes feel a bit cartoonish in my Ray Bans, so I was looking at brown/tortoise shell frames and metal frames. Now there are a LOT of options for frames in Manila, but they can be pricey if you stick to branded frames. I personally don’t mind spending a bit for frames because hello, they go on your face. But there’s also a point where the patong (amount added onto base price) goes up way too high. I was seeing Dior, Tom Ford, Prada, and Chanel frames with prices jacked up to around 20k at times. So I found the frame I wanted, but I didn’t want to fork out an absurd amount of cash. Enter Glasses Online:

GG1When I found the website I was extremely pleased to see that they carried awesome brands at discounted and/or just lower prices in general. The carry brands like Persol, Carrera, Oakley, Ray Ban, and even Celine. And they don’t just sell frames for reading and distance glasses, they carry sunglasses and contact lenses too. The down-side to using the site is that you don’t actually get to try the frames on, but what I did to get around that was find the frames I wanted in a store, take the item’s code number down, and search Glasses Online for it. After some time, I found the perfect pair and placed my order. Two weeks later…GG2My Tom Ford babies arrived at my doorstep! <3 Shipping would have been faster if I had chosen a popular frame, but I had my heart set on this particular one. I adore Tom Ford as a designer (on a makeup-related note, I own no TF item just yet. Shame!) and I love the “T” detail that wraps around the edges of his eyewear, as you will see in a bit!  (more…)