Handbag Staples: Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream & Res-Q Ointment

DSC05803Burt’s Bees has a lot of hand care options for just one brand (see here) and I’ve actually had the chance to try out most of them. I’ve never really liked the ones in tubes much for some reason, but the Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream (650.00 Php / 6.49 GBP) is something that I’ve had for a while and like to take around with me when I carry smaller handbags.

Recently, I received the Res-Q Ointment (650.00 Php / 6.49 GBP) as part of an outdoors-themed Christmas set and although it isn’t described as a product just for the hands (it’s more like a multi-use healing balm — will explain more below), I like to use it on my hands because my terrible habit of biting the skin around my nails leaves me with little wounds.

I use the Cuticle Cream and the Res-Q ointment almost interchangeably these days, but they are technically not the same product. Let’s have a look at both of them: 

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Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Hepburn Honey

I’ve been living in London for some four months now. I’m having a great time, and one of the things I’ve learned to do to help keep things that way is to not always convert item prices into Pesos in my head. 1 GBP is some 68 PHP, so even a lipstick from Boots that’s only around 6 or 7 GBP isn’t actually as cheap as it might seem to be. Maybe I’m just used to thinking of things in US Dollars (slightly lower change rate) or I just haven’t gotten used to thinking of things in a different currency… in any case, I find that I helps to just not do the conversions before I buy things (unless I’m making a huge purchase, which is rarely the case — all I buy is food and more warmers because it’s freezing here). I’m happier that way.

And so it was that on the day I decided to finally go and buy something from Charlotte Tilbury, I forked over my 23 GBP without much thought– happily, even. It took me ages to pick anything from the brand precisely because I knew it wasn’t cheap, but that didn’t make the realisation that this is a 1,500 PHP lipstick any less painful. Haha. DSC05655Don’t get me wrong — this little tube is worth it (to me). I just don’t normally go for high end lipsticks because all my favourites tend to be from the drugstore anyway. I do think though that because I have been buying a lot less product lately (this is relative to my former self, so I still buy lots compared to most) — and because this is related to me finally knowing exactly what works for me (i.e. I have become boring) — that I can more safely spend a little more on a luxury product. Oooor maybe I’m justifying my purchase. It is a very pretty purchase, no? DSC05668The K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipsticks are Charlotte’s signature range, “curated with modern and classic icons in mind.” I have the shade Hepburn Honey, which is a lovely peachy nude –totally up my alley. The formula for these is supposed to keep your lips looking plump, protect them from the sun, and wear comfortably without bleeding out of the lip line.

You have to give it to Charlotte: you are totally purchasing an experience when you shop her line. Browsing the store was immensely fun and you sort of take that memory home with you, aside from having a beautiful product to hold and love, too. 

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Soap & Glory at 3 for 2

I haven’t actually picked up very much makeup since arriving in London. There’s so much to choose from and for a while I was just overwhelmed. That’s a good thing, of course! I love having all of this variety. I have my eye on loads of Charlotte Tilbury stuff, but probably saving those purchases for just before Christmas. In the meantime, I’ve been falling prey to all these 3 for 2 deals at Boots and Superdrug. These Soap & Glory products are from my first little haul:
IMG_2535How cute is that packaging!?

If you’re not familiar with Soap & Glory — familiarise yourself! haha you’re missing out. They’re a relatively young brand (founded in 2006) that offer fun bath, beauty, and skincare products. Their range of body lotions and other shower products is huge and I haven’t delved into that just yet. Their makeup line on the other hand is nice and compact.

I chose the products I have based almost exclusively on Fleur’s (Fleur de Force) recommendations. 

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Introducing: Bioré’s Line Up of Makeup Removers

About a week or so before leaving Manila, a bundle of some of Bioré’s different types of makeup removers arrived on my doorstep. I was ecstatic because this ups the number of readily accessible cleansing oils and micellar waters in Manila (the most popular other brands being Shu Uemura for the cleansing oil and Bioderma for micellar cleansing water).

Bioré, if you are unfamiliar with the brand, is of Japanese origin. They are well-known for their sunblocks locally, but apparently their makeup removing products are best-sellers in Japan. I trust Japanese skin care almost by default (you really should never do this but if there’s any one country that knows its skincare it’s Japan, so…) and so I didn’t hesitate to dive in and test all of these products immediately.
DSC04362The bundle I received included all three of Bioré’s makeup removing products: the Cleansing Oil (in the pump bottle and the two small travel bottles), the Micellar Cleansing Water, and the Cotton Sheets. There is also a 2-in-1 foaming Cleanser, but I unfortunately haven’t been able to try that out.

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Create Your Own Base With Cover FX’s Custom Cover Drops (G50)

I first heard of the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops (44.00 USD) when Tati (GlamlifeGuru on YouTube) did a first impressions video about the product in April. There is seriously no way anyone can watch that video and walk away from it not wanting the Custom Cover Drops. Tati’s skin looked flawless, the product seemed like such a novel idea, and I was just completely sold.

I picked up a bottle for myself at Sephora when I visited the U.S. in May and since then I have been these magical, innovative, revolutionary drops consistently.
DSC03435The Custom Cover Drops are essentially concentrated pigments that you can mix in with other bases, moisturisers, or even sunblocks, to achieve the level of coverage you want. The Cover FX website describes the product as follows:

Custom Cover Drops can be mixed with anything liquid to add coverage – moisturizers, serums, oils, primers, foundations and tinted moisturizers that are water, oil or silicone-based. These revolutionary drops feature our Flash Fusion Technology™ formula, so as soon as you drop, the solution flashes off leaving behind the pigment that weightlessly transforms your favorite beauty product into the sheerest tint all the way to a total coverage foundation, depending on how many drops you add. The pigments are coated with Lecithin, which is biochemically similar to the skin, to ensure ease of blending and the smoothest application. With unprecedented control, you are free to customize coverage like never before.

What a freakin’ amazing idea, right? The website instructs that 1 Drop = Sheer Coverage, 2 Drops = Medium Coverage, 3 Drops = Full Coverage, and 4 Drops = Total Coverage.

Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 2.29.37 PMThe product comes in an impressive range of 24 different shades. I asked a sales assistant at Sephora to help me find the right shade and just because their colour IQ system couldn’t suggest a shade for me, she gave up. Uhm. K. So I picked out a shade for myself. Good thing I know my skin well enough!

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Lots and Lots of Lippies (My Happy Skin Lipstick Collection)

I reorganise my makeup storage quite often and I recently started keeping all of my Happy Skin lip products in one acrylic case. I don’t know how it happened, but I now have twelve Shut Up & Kiss Me Lippies, three Lip & Cheek Mousses, and two Power Pout Lip Lacquers. That’s a total of seventeen lip products from one brand. What. That is crazy.

They all looked so pretty sitting in one place that I got up and took some photos of my little collection (it really is a collection of its own, separate from my makeup collection as a whole). There are times when I dread taking product shots but when I’m inspired (nuks), I think I do an ok job. For a non-photographer, that is. Hehe.
DSC03337So that’s pretty much the story behind this post. I don’t want the pretty pictures to go to waste, so I’m sharing them with you all.

I don’t have the full set of Happy Skin’s incredibly popular Shut Up & Kiss Me Lippies (I think some people actually collect them like Pokemon), but these are representative of the brand’s journey, I think. I have some from very early on and I have quite a few of the latest formulations. Might as well go over what I have: 

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An O.K. Product: NARS Dual-Intensity Blush in Craving (Review)

NARS, to my mind, has always been the cool kid on the block. He’s got the good looks and the “it factor”, but when you dig down deep and get to what’s on the inside — he’s not all he’s cracked up to be. Laura Mercier, on the other hand, is the unassuming, simple girl who happens to pack a punch despite her plain Jane appearances.

François and Laura are the stars of my imagined world of personified makeup (because the token bad boy and sweet girl figures are the bare bones of any clichè story, obvs), but there’s also Bobbi (Brown) — the clean-cut preppy girl who cares way too much following the rules — and Pierre (Guerlain) — the snooty rich, foreign guy who drives a Lambo and vacations at Turks and Caicos in the summer.

Other than Holy Shit I want it all, I want it aaaallll, this is the kind of stuff that I think about when I’m walking through Rustan’s beauty section. I can’t be the only one… so — care to add some character write-ups in the comments section? I’ve thought the whole set through, including “younger” brands like Benefit and MAC, but it should be fun to her how other people view brands, personified. ;)

DSC01867Anyway, yes. I am primarily here today to talk about a NARS product. The NARS Dual-Intensity Blush ($45 / approx. 2,450 Php) is another one of the products that I picked up from my trip to the U.S. in May. I was seriously considering the dual-intensity eyeshadows as well, but for one reason or another I ended up with this bugger instead.

It looks cool, as is always the case with NARS products, but it’s also got a hefty price tag attached. I’m always hesitant to drop money on NARS’s skin products (only the Audacious lipsticks have fully impressed me), but I thought I would take a chance on the dual-intensity products because they’re relatively new and rated pretty well by other bloggers. 

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Swatches of the NEW Happy Skin Lip Lacquer (Hear Me Roar) & Matte Lippie (Pop The Question)

This past Wednesday was apparently “National Lipstick Day” (or was it International? Matters little!) and all over Instagram people were celebrating by posting anything and everything to do with lipstick. To me, that’s a visual feast, so I’m not complaining. I was, however, out of the house all day and those posts spurred an urge to buy a new lipstick. I resisted, mostly because none of the shades I had swatched were particularly exiting, but also because I have all of the lipsticks I need — at least, I thought I did. That changed when I came home to thisDSC02996It’s been just over a month since Happy Skin introduced us to their amazing matte lipstick formula with the Preview x Happy Skin collaboration. Too Cool and Hot Stuff were beautiful shades (I adore Too Cool), but they are sadly limited edition ones that won’t be coming back after stocks run out (unless we petition for Too Cool to become permanent, maybe? hehe). Still, we all knew that Happy Skin would introduce permanent shades in the matte formulation one day — I just didn’t expect that day to come so soon. I’m definitely not complaining and I was so kilig to have been sent one of the new Matte Lippie shades AND a totally new product, the Power Pout Lip Lacquer, to try out. I didn’t have all the lipsticks I needed pala. Hehe.

Along with a beautiful monogrammed lipstick pouch by Bespoke & Beyond, I received the Shut Up & Kiss Me Moisturizing Matte Lippie in Pop The Question and the Shut Up & Kiss Me Power Pout Moisturizing Lip Lacquer in Hear Me Roar.

I am putting this post up a day before the Zalora launch so that you can have a look at these particular shades and decide if you’re interested in them. I’ll include the basic information, but this isn’t a review. Happy swatch-ogling! :)

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A #BetterMe Story, Feat. SkinWhite’s Advanced Whitening Range

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SkinWhite Advanced Power Whitening Soap – 26 Php for 65g, 44 Php for 90g, and 60.75 Php for 125g

SkinWhite Advanced Whitening Facial Cleanser – (Price not indicated)

SkinWhite Advanced Whitening Facial Powder – 67 Php for 20g

SkinWhite Advanced Power Whitening Lotion – 71 Php for 50mL, 123 Php for 75mL, and 235 Php for 200 mL

I tend to like brands that create a community, and really, all brands should strive to do just that. If people are attracted to your products, that’s already one thing they have in common. Why not turn those consumers into a supportive group of friends? Well, that’s exactly what SkinWhite did with their latest batch of girls who formed this year’s Captivate Council.  

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Two Looks, One Palette: A Review of Happy Skin’s All Eyes On Hue Eyeshadow Palette

DSC01888The Happy Skin All Eyes On Hue Eyeshadow Palette* (1,299.00 Php) was released with the Holiday 2014 collection (which was called “Save Room for Dessert” in case you’re curious to know) and is, for the moment, the brand’s only eyeshadow offering.

As is always the case with Happy Skin products, the packaging design is adorable. It’s made of that reinforced, coated cardboard that I love so much and it’s held shut by a strong magnet.

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