A Gem of A Palete: Lorac Unzipped (Swatches)

DSC01858The Lorac Unzipped palette ($42) has been on my radar for a few years now. YouTubers talk about it a lot, but not half as often as they rave about the Lorac Pro palette. The Pro comes with eight matte and eight shimmery shades, while Unzipped comes with just three mattes seven shimmers.

Last year I excitedly added the original Pro (there is now a second version) to my collection and learned the hard way that more eyeshadows and a greater number of matte shades does not a  better palette make. I wrote about it in this post and since then I have been able to use the Pro palette, but not very often.

Despite the so-so experience I had with the Pro palette, I couldn’t get the Unzipped palette out of my mind. The shades looked so buttery, so vibrant… and much more interesting than¬†those of¬†the popular Urban Decay NAKED 3 palette, which also features rosy pinks heavily.

DSC01863As you may have surmised by now, I did finally go¬†and get my own Lorac Unzipped palette. It’s beautiful, as you can see, and¬†OMG guys — wait until you see the swatches (if you haven’t seen them on other blogs yet, that is). You’ll be drooling over this palette fo shizzle.¬†

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Maybelline’s Color Sensational Rebellion: The Rebel Bouquet

I love flowers. I love lipstick. Put them together in one pretty basket arrangement? You’ve got one very, very happy IanaBee (that’s me, FYI).¬†DSC01781Cue the seraphs singing! (Also insert a heart-eyed emoji here.)

Receiving the Maybelline Rebel Bouquet* was the highlight of my day and I could hardly wait to get my hands on all 11 lipsticks¬†— but I waited — patiently, as a good beauty blogger should, and I took photos¬†first so that you can get a glimpse of Maybelline’s newest line of lipsticks before you go out and grab some (or all).¬†

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Filter x2

I had absolutely nothing planned for this afternoon, so I decided it would be a good time to catch up on photographing things for the blog. I¬†sat down to do my makeup even if I wasn’t going anywhere and I tried to use as many new products as¬†possible¬†so that I could photograph multiple things in one go.

I don’t normally do that sort of thing…wear makeup without plans of going out, that is. It feels strange and I guess that’s part of¬†reason why the look didn’t turn out well. Or maybe it would have turned out just as bad even if I had had plans of going out — who knows? Anyway, none of the photos I took are usable for review purposes. I slapped a filter on the best one and that’s the only thing that made it better:
DSC01670This is one of the filters that comes with iPhoto and it’s quite heavy. There’s no toggling with the intensity like on Instagram. It brings¬†my dull skin to life and masks the mess I made of my eyeshadow today. It’s certainly¬†not¬†realistic, but it actually makes me¬†like the photo. Now here’s the original:¬†

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The Wonders of Lipstick, Featuring the Preview x Happy Skin Lipsticks “Too Cool” & “Hot Stuff”

I was still abroad when I got wind of the Preview x Happy Skin limited edition lipsticks, but that didn’t stop me from placing an order on Zalora right away. Thank goodness for online shopping — I normally prefer to buy things over the counter, but I couldn’t stand the thought of not having one set of these for my self for sure.
DSC01278I have such a weakness for Happy Skin’s limited edition releases. I have all except¬†the collaboration with Liz Uy, which I passed up on because¬†I really didn’t think the shades would suit me. The lipsticks in this Preview collaboration also seemed iffy at first because one is so pale and the other is a red (I’m wary of reds in general), but they were iffy in an exciting way, if that makes any sense.

Too Cool is a greige with the slightest hint of pink and Hot Stuff is a dark cherry red. They are the first matte Shut Up & Kiss Me Moisturising Lippies, and Happy Skin has added cupuaçu butter to the formulation to ensure that these are the most hydrating matte lipsticks your lips have ever come into contact with.
Processed with MoldivI knew I wanted to test out Too Cool and Hot Stuff with the same simple base on as that would be a true test of how each shade interacted with my skin tone. The results were interesting enough to merit my posting a double-selfie on my Instagram page, as you can see above.

Too Cool is almost too light for me but I think I juuust about pulled it off. As with most nude shades, it brings out my natural tan and draws the focus away from my lips and onto my eyes instead. Hot Stuff on the other hand had the effect of making my skin appear lighter/whiter and made my lips the focus of the look.

Crazy how much a change of lipstick can change a look.¬†I personally prefer the look of nudes on my lips because I like to draw attention to my eyes, but I don’t mind a red when it’s the kind that livens up my face like Hot Stuff does. So take note, guys.¬†If you know what effect you’re going for, lipstick¬†can totally help you achieve that. It’s the one thing apart from eyebrows that can make a major difference.

Anyway, that ends my little lipstick observation. If you want to know more about this limited edition set from Happy Skin in particular, read through! 

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USA Makeup & Skincare 2015

It’s always difficult to control myself when shopping in the States. That goes for everything, not just makeup and skincare, but it’s especially bad with beauty stuff because they tend to be small items that add up in price quickly. So this year I attacked the U.S. beauty shopping scene with a detailed list of things I knew I wanted to get. I did save a lot of money, but I also ended up with much less than I normally take home. Wether I’ll regret that or not isn’t really clear yet… but here are the (relatively) few things I am glad to have:¬†DSC01201Let’s start with body and skincare because — why not!

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I’m Back

DSC01163…with a new camera that I am still learning to use (the Sony a5100) and some fun makeup acquisitions that I can’t wait to share with you guys! Check back soon. ;)

Xx,

Mariana

From Madrid to Manila: Menina Step Is Here 

When I found out that Menina Step, a shoe brand of Spanish origin, was coming to Manila, I was excited to say the least. Flats might be available available in abundance, but they’re also the easiest to get totally wrong.  Give me a crappy pair and I’ll feel just that–crappy. Give me a good pair of flats and I will feel as amazing as I would in a pair of stilettos. That’s how I feel in my Meninas.
Menina Step shoes are exquisite. They are handcrafted in Spain by leather artisans and they come in a wide variety of classy flat styles. They are also extremely comfortable to wear; The best thing about genuine leather shoes? They mould to fit your feet like a strangely misplaced glove.

I feel kick-ass and classy in my Meninas, and I’m so very happy to be able to give you guys a preview of the pair I wore at a photoshoot for the brand recently.

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Venue: Aruga by Rockwell

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Rockwell also happens to be the location for Menina Step’s pop-up launch on May 30 & 31. More details about that at the end of this post! 

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Packing For the U.S.: Skincare, Makeup, and In-Flight Essentials

If you’re seeing¬†this post right after it goes up, I’m probably sitting in an airplane as you read it. I’ll be in the U.S. for the next three weeks to attend a wedding and also to sightsee and visit relatives. I will try to post while I’m there, but if I can’t then I have a few scheduled posts going up. You can follow me on Instagram (@ianabantug) and Snapchat (ianabantug) if you want to see what I’m up to while I’m there! :)

Packing for longer trips is crazy stressful and although I try to “pack smart” and have some sort of a system, I never actually take the same things or employ the same approach twice. For this trip, I tried to take more mini/travel-sized items when possible and also take stuff that I can leave once they are used up (thereby freeing up space to take more things home!).

I’m not going to list every single item because there’s a lot of stuff in this post, but I’ll point out the things I think warrant a bit of an explanation.

Main Toiletries Bag

P1190145This is a Rustan’s brand toiletries bag. I’ve used it for a number of trips now and I really like the size and shape of it.¬†The rectangular shape makes it really easy to pack alongside my packing cubes (for clothes) and the handles up top allow me to hang it up on a hook when I settle into a hotel or at a relative’s place.¬†

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A Selection of Pixi S/S 2015 Products from Glamourbox

Pixi Beauty has always been about fresh, natural-looking makeup. The brand often makes use of the tagline “makeup to wakeup” and the line was¬†created to awaken and create a naturally radiant “just had a good night’s sleep” look. The ingredients that go into Pixi products are “skin-loving and youth-enhancing” and while I’m not exactly in need of youth-enhancing products (yet), I always appreciate makeup that nourishes the skin while you wear it.

P1190017Pixi’s Spring/Summer 2015 Collection, Spring Into Summer, is all about¬†fuss-free and simple yet highly effective makeup. When Glamourbox¬†(beauty box curators and distributors of brans like Pixi and Eye of Horus) sent a box* with a selection of the products, I could feel the summer glow waiting to jump put of the box and straight on to my skin. Here’s what I got:¬†

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Goodbye To A Great: L’Oreal Lucent Magique Foundation

Some days are good, some days are bad, and some days are semi-good with overtones of suckiness. Today was that weird blend of sucky and good. There’s never really an explanation for those sorts of things… they just happen. I can’t wait for another day to come and erase this one, but (again for reasons unknown) these are usually the days that stick with you no matter how hard you try to shake ’em off.

At least life’s always interesting, eh?

P1190124Do you know what else is “interesting” (i.e. an absolute mystery)? Awesome products being discontinued.

When I reviewed the L’Oreal Lucent Magique foundation in the past, my feelings toward it were¬†pretty lukewarm. I explained that it made an excellent summer foundation, but it was so-so at other points in the year. Well, I was wrong. At the time I only had G7 (my summer shade) and the moment I got my hands on G4 (next shade lighter), I was happy as could be. This foundation is lightweight, luminous, and photographs well despite having an SPF of 24. AND NOW THEY’RE DISCONTINUING IT.

Ugh. I don’t think Lucent Magique was ever as wildly popular as Mat Magique is now… and I blame everyone who is obsessed with matte skin for this travesty.

If you are a fellow fan of this foundation, you can get the remaining stock at 50% off (around 400 Php). I got myself another G7 and will probably be buying G4 again when I come across it.

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