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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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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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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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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Review: Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette

DSC01895This, dear readers, is the Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette (46.00 USD). It was the first thing I dropped into my shopping basket when I hit Sephora back in May and I had been ogling it online prior to that for months. I knew even before getting my hands on it that I would come to adore it. Its sister, the Face Contour Palette, seems to be the more popular of the two palettes, but I thought the idea of a contour palette for the eyes was much more interesting and original.

Plus: look at that packaging. How could anyone resist?

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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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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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