An Earthy FOTD (Nov. 16, 2014)

Hello my loves! Here’s a look I wore yesterday. My skin hasn’t been in the best shape; it acts up¬†once a month like clockwork because of girly hormones and that sort of thing… it’s a pain in the butt, but that’s life. These are the times when I’m thankful for mineral makeup and high coverage concealers.¬†Plum & OliveFor this look, all I knew to start was that I wanted to use the shade Gilded Ganache from the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette (review). It’s much more wearable than it looks in the pan and I was quite happy with the way it looked on my lids. I pretty much just used that one shade plus a little bit of Milk Chocolate through the crease and Cr√®me Brulee on the center of the eyelids to add more dimension. I didn’t use any eyeliner but I did layer on the mascara heavily to add to the soft smokey effect that the shadows created. As for the lips, I initially picked up a light coral-pink (because that sort of shade goes nicely with green eyeshadow), but I wasn’t feeling it so I grabbed my MAC lipliner in Plum and Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Mink instead to give me a plummy-brown look. I¬†really like how it turned out–much more “fall/winter” appropriate. What do you think? :)

For a full list of the products I used, read on!

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Growing Obsession: Laura Mercier’s Caviar Sticks

I try so many products that I often catch myself getting “obsessed” with the new things, then sort of just forgetting about them after a while. That’s why I rarely do favorites of the month posts. They’re not truly faves in my mind until they’ve withstood the test of time, so to say. My 2014 faves are coming up, but for next year I’ll probably start doing more “loving lately” type of posts so I can talk about the new and interesting “seasonal” obsessions. Of course there are products that really do become obsessions over time and evolve into favorites. The Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks definitely belong in that category. So this is a bit of a spoiler, but you will be seeing these again in the yearly faves posts in about a month. Still, I thought a post dedicated especially to them was in order. P1160540The Caviar Sticks have actually been around for well over a year now, but they recently released new shades so if you visit a Laura counter in the near future, you will see a rather prominent display. The newest shade in my collection is Moonlight, a beautiful high-shimmer silver with a taupe base.

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Review: Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette

P1160405Be not fooled by the kitsch packaging — the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette (S$65.55 or around 2,200 Php) is actually one of the prettier palettes that I own, albeit mostly on the inside. It looks mega tacky in photos, but after spending some time with the palette and feeling the quality in my hands (it’s made of better materials that it looks to be), I have come to forgive the ugly font and funky design. It still looks shite in photos (yeah I really can’t let it go!) but on my vanity and in person it isn’t so bad. It also has a nice magnetic closure and a good weight to it that makes letting it fall shut satisfying.¬†P1160365Of course, as I said, the true beauty is on the inside. When I picked this up in Singapore, it was a choice between this and the Urban Decay NAKED ¬†3 — not that they are similar in terms of colour palette, I just had a budget to stick to hehe. I went with this in the end because although I had seen swatches of the eyeshadows online before, seeing and feeling them in person was a different story. I thought: ok let me just check this shade out because it looks interesting — and it was in fact interesting. So I swatched one shade after the other until nearly every shade was smudged into the back of my hand. I was sold.¬†

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Review: Bioderma Atoderm Restorative Lip Balm

P1150984It’s finally time for the first of my Bioderma reviews since the brand launched in the Philippines!¬†I’m kicking it off with the Restorative Lip Balm (910.00 Php), which is part of Bioderma’s range designed for dry skin: Atoderm. You don’t exactly have to have dry skin to use this though, as even girls with oily skin can have dry lips. This lip balm in particular will probably please a wide range of different people as it’s unscented, not greasy, and hypoallergenic.¬†P1150991The very fact that this is a basic lip balm is what makes it so great. There are no frills — it just works.¬†If you’ve ever used Khiels’ lip balm in the original formula, this Bioderma option is the less greasy, more quickly absorbed version of it.¬†

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My Favourite Hair Oils: K√©rastase & L’Oreal (Plus one to avoid!)

It’s not often that I talk about hair products. I just… am not terribly interested in them. I do however recognise the value of a good haircut and the tremendous blessing that is a good hair day. That said, I do invest in my hair in certain ways. I might not curl my hair, style it with tons of product, or even colour it, but I do make it a point to do the following things:

  1. Remain faithful to my amazing stylist, Alex Carbonell.
  2. Use as little heat on my hair as possible even though I love straight-ironing with my GHD.
  3. Deep condition my hair once or twice a week.
  4. Use hair oils.

There was a time when I was on board the whole must-use-only-sulfate-free-shampoos-and-conditioners thing, but I have not been able to stick with it. I have been thinking about testing some more of those, but for now my deep conditioner and hair oils have been keeping me happy.
P1160440These are the two best hair oils I have ever tried: K√©rastase Nutrtive Ol√©o-Relax (1,500.00 Php) and L’Oreal Mythic Oil (approx. 900.00 Php). Since L’Oreal owns K√©rastase, these are essentially by/from the same company. I use them both in the same way: rubbed into my hands and then brushed through my hair with my fingers, from ear-length down. The Ol√©o-Relax is for dry and rebellious hair, while the Mythic Oil is for all hair types. They both work on my normal to dry hair and I pick which one to use based on how damaged and/or dry my hair is on a particular day.

I’ve had the Ol√©o-Relax for ages now and this happens to be my second bottle of the stuff. You can see that I’m nearly done with it and I will be repurchasing. As it’s meant for dry hair, it’s the heavier of the two oils. Still, it doesn’t leave the hair looking oily or feeling weighed down. My hair sops this up very quickly and I’m left with manageable and healthy-looking ends.¬†One bottle lasts for about 6 months with daily use and I need one pump per day.

The Mythic Oil is new to me but already I’m wondering why I didn’t pick this up sooner. I got it for around 800Php in Singapore, but locally I believe it sells for 950-ish. That’s definitely more affordable than the 1,500 you have to drop for the K√©rastase Ol√©o-Relax oil. Both bottles contain 125ml of product. The Miracle Oil is more lightweight because it’s geared toward normal hair types, but I don’t find that it makes the oil any less nourishing. It also has a different scent from the Ol√©o-Relax, which smells light and powdery. The Mythic Oil¬†has a light floral fragrance. Both smell great to me and are not overwhelming on that front.

L’Oreal does another hair oil that I will warn you to steer clear of:¬†

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Review: Sleek i-Divine “Sunset” Palette

Sleek is a UK-based brand that you’ve probably heard of already because of their blushes and i-Divine eyeshadow palettes. In the UK they’re available at Superdrug and in the Philippines tons of online sellers stock them–but now you can also find Sleek stuff on Luxola, which ships from Singapore directly to your doorstep, no hassle with customs or anything like that. I meant to post this yesterday in time for Luxola’s 12-hour 35% off promo, but I… failed. Hehe. Still, if you haven’t yet signed up for the newsletter, you really should. They always have some sort of special going on and they’re bound to come up with something awesome again soon. Now, on to this palette:¬†P1160421There are over 17 i-Divine palettes currently available on Sleek’s website (at $11.99) and about 15 of those are available on Luxola (at 769.00 Php or S$ 22.00). There is a jump in price, so it’s still a good idea to pick these up abroad if you can, but 769.00 Php really isn’t a bad price for a palette of 12 eyeshadows of decent quality.

I am also a fan of the packaging for these i-Divine palettes. Simple, sleek (hehe!), and sturdy. On the backside of the cover, you even get a huge real mirror (as opposed to those cheap-o foil-like mirrors that drugstore brands tend to include).

P1160424Now does’t that look like a palette that just screams I mean business? This is the third i-Divine palette in my collection (you’ll see the other two at the end of the post), but the Sunset palette is one that I’ve had my eyes on for over a year now.

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Sunday: Light Makeup & A Light Box

So I had this grand plan to document my Sunday and write¬†all about it (a.k.a. an actual journal entry of sorts), but my day did not go as planned and I spent most of it at the hospital. I’m fine, don’t worry (if you worried at all haha), I was just watching over a loved one, which I was perfectly willing to do. And please don’t mistake this for whining, but I hate hospitals. It was a beautiful morning out and I had to spend it under fluorescent lights and in hyper-sterilsed, cold rooms that gave no hint of the beauty that was this Sunday. Sigh.¬†photoI did make a start by taking a picture of the makeup I used today though. This is what happens when I have zero time to compose a decent shot. Eek. Anyway. I love “Sunday makeup” because it’s usually when I focus the most on creating the most natural looking base that I can. It’s like a little challenge that I have set for myself once a week, whereas on other days I just go with whatever I feel like doing.

Today I went with the Happy Skin ZZ Cream for my base since I’ve been struggling with some pimples lately. This is actually great for brightening the skin and it feels refreshing, too. I then used the three concealing products I cannot live without: MUD Blue Corrector #2, K Palette Zero Kuma Concealer Type 1 (review), and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC5 (review). The secret to looking as though you’ve got nothing (or very little) on your skin is spot concealing, so having this number of concealers out does not necessarily mean that I piled heaps of it on. I then set my under eye area with the Hourglass Ambient lighting Powder in Dim Light¬†(review) and the rest of my face with the Koh Gen Doh Mainfanshi Pressed Powder. Again, the use of two powders is not without reason. I pick what kind of powder to use on which part of my face based on the type of skin on that area (more on this will have to be said in another post I think). Since the ZZ Cream is a one-shade-suits-all product, I had to warm it up a bit with my Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder in 03 just around the edges of my face. For blush I went with an Ellana Minerals blush in Peach Passion. That was it for the skin, and for the eyes I used just one shade from my Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette– Haute Chocolate – buffed all over the lid and smudged into the lower lash line. Not pictured is the mascara I piled on like there was no tomorrow: Revlon’s Lash Potion in 001 Blackest Black. I love makeup. Haha

Now while I was at the hospital, I was stressing about not having the time to take product shots today because all my natural light would have gone by the time I got home. I finally, finally, FINALLY decided that it was about time to make a light box for myself so that I don’t have to be so dependent on daylight anymore. My mom also commented that my photos would look much more professional if I actually had one. So after leaving the hospital, I made a quick trip to the hardware store, rushed home and made this:¬†

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Singapore Haul: Too Faced, Tarte, bareMinerals, and drooling over HAKUHODO brushes

I recently went on a quick trip to Singapore with my Dad. He was there to do business and so was I (in a sense). My business mainly involved hunting down products inside Sephora and DFS. Not quite as important as my dad’s agenda, but it was definitely a serious matter (to me, at least).¬†IMG_6871Sephora in Singapore doesn’t carry all Sephora brands and sometimes the prices can actually come out a bit higher than Sephora in the US, so I tread with caution in there. I made it a point to get things that were not available in Manila or at Duty Free shops. I didn’t have a specific list of items to pick up, but I knew I would be choosing between the Urban Decay NAKED 3 palette and the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette.

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BDJ Box* October 2014 – Unboxing!

Got this late this afternoon and wanted to do a quick unboxing for you guys! Have a lookie:
P1160381BDJ* went jumbo-sized¬†with their boxes this month! While size definitely isn’t everything, I was still excited to receive a larger-than-usual parcel in the mail. The theme for this month is “Skin Savers” and the boxes are filled with products that will help you achieve fresh, glowing skin in preparation for the holiday season.¬†P1160388You can see that¬†Dial had its own products placed in a separate box (and I could smell the coconut-y goodness from inside of it even before opening it up!) but the “main box” was still filled to the brim. BDJ very rarely disappoints when it comes to value for money. Each subscription box will set you back 580.00 Php, but in this box alone for example, the full-sized products are worth 1,775.00 Php. I didn’t even bother to include the sample tubes and sachets.¬†

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MAC The Matte Lip: Living Legend

P1160207This is the MAC lipstick in the new matte formula that I mentioned in my review of Smoked Purple. I know, I know — it’s another dark lipstick. In my defense, it is that time of year that people in the West call “Fall.” This kind of vampy, plummy red is¬†on-trend now for sure. I don’t tend to be sucked in by all trends… just the ones that suit me, in which case I’ll¬†come back to it at any damn time in the year anyway.

So Living Legend (approx. 950 PHP), as I mentioned, is a¬†reformulated matte. It’s one of eight shades released as part of the “MAC The Matte Lip Collection” which hit counters just this month. Of those eight shades, seven are limited edition (LE) and one is permanent (Heroine, which MAC is pretty much shoving down our throats at this point). It guts me that this particular shade is LE because I do rate it highly and I suspect that the other shades are just as lovely formula-wise (based on swatching at counters and reading other reviews). But MAC is pretty good at listening to their audience, so if enough people like Living Legend, we might still see it in other collections in the future or even as part of the permanent collection.¬†P1160213Living Legend is a deep plum with a matte finish. Those who went ga-ga over the Novel Romance Collection will be familiar with Lingering Kiss, which is also a matte plum shade. They are extremely similar (just short of being dupes), with Living Legend being just slightly cooler in terms of undertone and a little less red. If you have Lingering Kiss, you can skip out on Living Legend. Both are also LE, just so you know.

Btw, aren’t fresh and untouched lipsticks a thing of beauty? It never ever gets old to me.

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