Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer: It’s A Good Thing

We all know that Martha Stewart is one crazy ass lady. But you can’t deny that the woman knows her shit. I loved watching her¬†show when it aired on the Lifestyle network and I always, always waited for her to say “it’s a good thing” with that creepy smile on her face as she told the audience about some fancy gardening pot or her latest line of bed sheets for Target. Half of me wanted to slap her for being a pretentious rich rich lady, but the other half of me totally wanted to run out to Target to buy those bed sheets, stat! Talk about creepily effective branding. P1170082 Anyway, I’m no Martha. There’s only one Martha (just as there is only one Britney), but I totally look into the mirror, pretend that I am her, and say “it’s a good thing” whenever I use the Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer. Its goodness is undeniable.

I think I mentioned recently that my skin are routine hasn’t been very consistent. I’ve taken to treating the problems as they arise and trying to create a balance by listening to my skin. I have combination skin so I do not use a moisturiser everyday and rarely all over the face. I like moisturising specific areas that need it. I pick up the GinZing moisturiser maybe every other day, but it’s especially great for when my skin is feeling dull.
P1170085 The entire GinZing line boosts skin radiance with ingredients like Ginseng and coffee bean. The moisturiser boats an oil-fee, lightweight formula that is absorbed into the skin very quickly but does not feel absolutely useless. If you have dry skin, this may not be heavy enough for your needs, but my combo skin loves it. I love that I can feel the ingredients giving my skin a boost and that it smells like oranges (and not the artificial kind).

What sucks is that Origins is not a locally available brand. I always pick up my fave masks from the brand at airports when I travel, but I wish they would open up shop here so that I could try even more of their stuff. They use natural ingredients and all of their products are formulated free of parabens and other harmful chemicals. This isn’t so much a review as it is an opportunity for me to say (publicly):

Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer. It’s a good thing. ;)

Getting To Know Laura Mercier’s Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide Foundation

P1160985At 2,250.00 Php, the Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide is one of the¬†pricier¬†foundations that I own — it comes second only to my beloved¬†Koh Gen Doh Aqua Foundation (2,750.00 Php). The bar was set high for this product not just because of the hefty price but also because Laura Mercier is one of my favourite makeup brands ever. Like, ever. Here’s what the Flawless Fluide claims to do:¬†
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The description is short, but LM has packed many a promise into that little space on the back of the box. Most of it is what any good foundation should do, but the part that¬†says “perfect for all ages, all skin-tones, all skin-types” kind of makes me pull back and say: Reaaaally, now? Unfortunately I am of one age, one skin-type, and one skin-tone, so you’ll have to look to other reviews to confirm if the foundation works for all kinds of women. For now you’ll have to settle for this 24-year-old, combination-skin-typed, and medium-olive-skin-toned girl’s opinion.

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The Beauty Bee (That’s Me!) in Meg Magazine

Processed with MoldivHello, dearest readers! Just popping in to share this exciting bit of news: I (as writer of this blog) am¬†in a magazine this month! I’m one of eight girls who have been named Meg magazine’s “Rookies of The Year.”

It’s extremely flattering to be featured alongside girls who I would call the “go-getter” type. I have never considered myself as such, but if there’s one thing this whole experience of being featured has taught me, it’s that blogging about beauty is something I will keep doing regardless of other circumstances in my life. I suppose at the very least that’s reflective of a genuine love for writing about this sort of thing. It’s not something I say I do “on the side” anymore; The Beauty Bee is a part of who I am… and I love that.

So yeah, please pick up a copy of the December-January issue of Meg magazine when you get the chance! They supported me by having me in their pages and I want to show them love as well. I also want to mention that this feature was penned by a writer named Irish Dizon, who was lovely because she was real. It’s always nerve-racking to have someone write something about you (still remember who wrote your high school yearbook write-up? I wanted so badly to write my own), but it’s easier to take when the person who wields the pen¬†can see things clearly and speak their mind.

Sparkle With Avon’s Newest Eau de Parfum: Femme

A few months back I was reacquainted with an Avon classic,¬†Sweet Honesty, and its new companions¬†Sweet Honesty Moments and Sweet Honesty Forever. The simplicity of the three¬†eau de toilettes makes them perfect for younger girls to use alone or for anyone to layer for a more complex scent. Those three are lovely in their own way, but sometimes you need (or want) more than a light spritz of fragrance. Enter Avon’s newest eau de parfum: Femme.¬†¬†Avon Femme* (1,500.00 Php for 50 mL)¬†is a fragrance that promises to make you feel like a star every day. It’s geared toward a more sophisticated set and everything about it reflects that, from the packaging to the complexity of the fragrance. It’s described as a “sparkling” scent, and I definitely get that freshness even amidst the dominant floral accord.¬†P1160826I was pleasantly surprised by how long this perfume wore on me (pretty much all day, so around 8 hours). It starts out fresh and “sparkling” as I mentioned, with top notes of pink grapefruit, violet, and plum coming up strong but not offensive. It then settles a bit and the florals show through, as the heart of the perfume is composed of jasmine, wild orchid, and magnolia. This floral bit stays on for hours and works alongside the¬†base of amber, peach skin, musk, and woody notes, which give it a powdery feel.

If you like floral, fresh scents, this is one to try for sure. I imagine that younger ladies will get on with this fragrance better than mature women because of the “sparkling” freshness, but scent it very personal and anyone could end up loving this, really! The glass bottle is bevelled beautifully and it feels nice and heavy. It’s a pretty product all around, so if there’s someone very close to you who likes this kind of scent profile, you might even consider gifting it.¬†

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Deals & Steals Alert: Laura Mercier Mini Caviar Sticks Holiday Set & VMV Christmas Promo

P1160918Can you believe it’s nearly Christmas? I’m not sure where 2014 went, but I’m quite glad to be rid of it (not such a great year for me– though I believe I said the same about 2013. Life, please give me a break). On a happier note, I am genuinely glad that Laura Mercier’s Holiday sets are finally available. They are always the best value for money in my opinion and I have never regretted picking up at least one set. This year I bought¬†the Mini Caviar Stick Colour Collection (1,950.00 Php). 2013’s set had four mini caviar sticks, while this year’s set has six. I already own three of the shades in the set (Rosegold, Amethyst, and Moonlight) so I’m giving those away, but I am keeping these three:P1160927Copper, Khaki, and Cocoa. The mini caviar sticks come out to 325.00 Php each for 1.00g of product. That’s not bad at all considering that a full-sized caviar stick only has 1.64g of product and will set you back 1,250.00 Php. This set is such a steal, so grab it before it sells out! You can see swatches of my other caviar sticks in this post.

The new Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide Foundation is also finally available. I haven’t tested out a new base product in ages, so I’m definitely picking that up soon too.
P1160970Here’s another product I also recently picked up on offer: VMV Hypoallergenics’ Skintangible “BBBB Cream” (1,060.00 Php) I’ve used this base before and liked it well enough, but the packaging has always bothered me. It’s difficult to get the last bits of the cream out of the bottle and you end up wasting quite a bit if you don’t put in the extra effort. I paired it with VMV’s Ooh La Lash mascara to avail of the 30% discount.

I’m not too sure when the promo on makeup items ends for VMV, but their Holiday sets are also worth checking out. I know I’d love to receive their Creams de la Creme (490 Php) and My VMVery Favourite Things (1,000 Php) sets for sure.¬†VMV is also offering their facials and skin services on a crazy discounted package until December 24. If you buy 10 facials from their Skin Services Menu, you get 70% off the total price. You can take your time using up the services as there is no expiry date either. That’s probably the sweetest deal I’ve come across this Christmas season yet.

What deals have you guys come across while Christmas shopping this year? :) Bonus FOTD after the jump! 

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Highlighter Of My Dreams: theBalm’s Cindy-Lou Manizer

theBalm’s Cindy-Lou Manizer (945.00 Php) is quite literally the highlighter of my dreams— I had a dream about writing this blog entry¬†last night, so when I woke up this morning I got straight to photographing the product. Now here¬†I am making that dream come true, yay! Haha. But really, I should have featured this highlighter a long time ago. I use it nearly everyday.¬†P1160790Cindy-Lou is a younger sister to the more well-known Mary-Lou Manizer. Mary-Lou offers a champagne/light gold highlight while Cindy-Lou is a peachy pink hue. Both can be used as either a highlighter or an eyeshadow as they are highly pigmented. I only own Cindy-Lou so this will not be a comparison post, but the reason why I never picked up Mary-Lou is that it is much too light (i.e. nearly white-based) for my skin tone. Some people swear by it though, so pick a shade that you think will suit your skin.

P1160793I¬†picked this up back in May, thinking it would make a nice highlighter for the summer. I ended up hardly using it during the summer months and adoring it in this cooler weather we’ve been having instead.¬†

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Leather Love: My Ni Qua Manico Mini

Hello. My name is Mariana and I love leather bags.¬†This Ni QUA¬†Manico Mini (2,395.00 Php) is my most recent acquisition.¬†P1160879I won it by entering Topaz Horizon‘s birthday giveaway, which gave me the chance not only to own a Manico Mini but to customise it to my liking as well.

If you’ve followed me for long enough, you’ll already know that I’m a big fan of Frances (of Topaz Horizon) and that she’s influenced quite a few online purchases that I’ve made in the past. I admire the woman for many reasons, not the least of which is her ability to say it straight, whatever “it” might be. There¬†aren’t many¬†writers who can do that without being over-simplistic or boring–and Frances is far from boring. BUT before I go too far and wax poetic about the woman and come off borderline-creepy, I just wanted to say that I’m happy to have won my Manico Mini from her because she’s super cool.

Now the reason I wanted to talk about my bespoke Manico Mini on the blog is not to brag about winning it or anything like that. I wanted to put a good overview of the quality of the bag on the internet so that any prospective Ni QUA customers know what to expect. It’s a brand that’s only available online at the moment and I know that something like this will be useful for those who don’t want to make decisions about purchases without being assured of quality (and rightly so).¬†
P1160897The Manico Mini is my second bag from Ni QUA, which tells you something in and of itself. I like that the brand makes use of real, good-quality leather, and also that the pieces are stitched together and that they don’t line the interiors of their bags. It’s a specific kind of look and if you’re not into it, you won’t be into these bags. If you’re on the fence, I can tell you that the great thing about simple leather bags with minimal hardware and no lining is that they are extremely¬†lightweight and pretty darn durable.

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Review: Bioderma Cicabio Soothing Repairing Cream

Here’s a(nother)¬†Bioderma¬†product that I can totally get behind: the Cicabio Soothing Repairing Cream (915.20 Php). Cicabio is Bioderma’s range geared toward damaged and irritated skin. Now while not everyone¬†has perennially¬†sensitive skin, having irritated, stressed, or wounded skin from time to time is inevitable. The skin is the body’s first barrier against the outside world, after all. External stressors can leave skin more sensitive and permeable, and the Cicabio range is Bioderma’s answer to that. The products in the range relieve discomfort and repair epidermal problems quickly.

There are four products in the Cicabio range: the Soothing Repairing Cream (the “Cr√®me” for short), the Pommade, the SPF 50+, and the Arnica+. For today I’ll just be talking about the Cr√®me, which is meant for use on minor skin damage (ex. rashes, mild burns, mosquito bites).

P1150975This was the one product in my Bioderma press¬†bag that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to use. I guess my skin gets irritated a lot more often than I thought, because I reach for this quite often now. It started when I had redness and peeling on my face from an over-dried pimple that I attacked with my full arsenal of pimple-drying remedies. My skin was just so irritated that it almost felt warmer in that area.

Annoyed with myself for letting it come to that, I was¬†looking through my stash of lotions and potions for something to soothe my skin. I spotted the Cicabio Cr√®me sitting patiently on my “things to try” shelf and I thought:¬†perfect! And perfect it was indeed. I spread a small amount of the cream onto the affected area and felt immediate relief. After two days of using it, 90% of the redness had gone and the dryness problem was no more!¬†

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Impulse Buy: ArtDeco Glossy Lip Color 32 from the MIAMI Collection

ArtDecoMiami1There are times when campaign images get me not because they’re chic or understated or classy… but because they’re over-the-top sexy, kitsch, or even (actually, especially) bordering on camp. ArtDeco’s MIAMI Collection drew me in the second I spotted the display from about three feet way (can’t see clearly from much farther without glasses hehe). Everything was just HIGH GLOSS, plus tan, plus aqua (y agua!), and sunshine, and MORE GLOSS. That’s 100% stereotypical Miami, if you ask me– self-consciously artificial and extravagant. I love it.¬†ArtDecoMiami3This isn’t the exact display I saw at Beauty Bar, but it’s similar. The overall effect of it totally transported me out of the mall and onto a sunny beach to the tune of Will Smith’s Miami (bienvenido a Miami!¬†— consider this conveniently-placed link an excuse to revisit that song while reading through the rest of this post). I wanted all of the Glossy Lip Colors and Long Lasting Eye Shadow Sticks, but I settled on just one lippie because I was with the boyfriend so I could make sure it wasn’t a crap product.¬†P1160676Even the packaging on this Glossy Lip Color in #32¬†(695.00 Php) is super shiny! I like it in this case because I appreciate the collection’s overall aesthetic, but it’s funny to think that I would normally dislike this kind of packaging. There were five other delicious shades to choose from, but I settled on a plummy pink that I knew I would get a lot of use from regardless of the time of year. There was a watermelon pink that¬†screamed summer to me (btw, this is a Summer 2014 collection) and I would have picked that had circumstances differed even in the slightest.

The Glossy Lip Colors come in stick form like so many lipsticks come these days, but the formula behaves a lot more like a cream gloss. 

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Review: bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 2.0 in “The Epiphany”

P1160464This purchase was a long time coming. The bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow range has been on my radar for years now but I just kept passing them up in favour of other things… I really wanted either the duo called The Top Shelf or the quad called The Truth, but Sephora Singapore had neither. This duo — The Epiphany — caught my eye though¬†because it was one that I hadn’t researched before (yes, I research my eyeshadow purchases. Everyone does that, right?). After quickly verifying that Temptalia rated it an A+, into my bag it went!
P1160465The READY eyeshadows come in duo or quad form and are labeled 2.0 and 4.0 respectively and accordingly. I picked up my 2.0 in¬†The Epiphany for S$ 36.10 or approx. 1,224.00 Php. Still more expensive than the 20.00 USD listed on the bareMinerals website, but it’s not a bad price for the quality, considering MAC singles will set you back close to a thousand pesos these days.

P1160474The packaging is that rubbery black that you’ll be familiar with if you like NARS products, but the overall feel of the product is different because of the more rounded corners. It has that good quality packaging feel to it, but the rubbery black is a¬†powder magnet so it starts to look dirty very quickly. It’s always annoying but we gotta¬†take the bad with good sometimes, eh?

And damn is this eyeshadow formula good. 

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