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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PSA: TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray FINALLY Available in Manila

THTInterrupting your regular old Wednesday night with a quick public service announcement:

The TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray is FINALLY Available in Manila

The Thermal Creations line hit stores some time in the fourth quarter of 2013, but the heat tamer spray was not part of it for some odd reason. I even contacted the brand to ask for it and they actually responded, saying that they were working on getting all of the products into the country. I have no idea why things work that way sometimes–perhaps it’s to do with the ingredients? Regardless, it’s finally in local supermarkets for only 299.00 Php and I couldn’t be happier!

This is the only heat protectant spray that actually works (it protects up to 450 F deg. Fahrenheit, too). If you blow dry or flat iron your hair at all, you need this in your life.

* quick edit: I’m considering doing a full review on this product, but I’ll just say a bit about why this is the best heat protectant I’ve tried. I have used Fuwarie, Citre Shine, and Bed Head heat protectants in the past. I can say at least one negative thing about each of those sprays. The TRESemmé Heat Tamer spray  on the other hand does the exact opposite of those negative things. It doesn’t weigh my hair down, it protects and nourishes at the same time, it smells good, it’s affordable, and it coats my hair evenly. :) It leaves me wanting nothing more of a heat protectant, pretty much!

And that’s it! You’re welcome in advance! Haha ;) If you’d like to see the ingredients list, click through:

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Beauty For A Cause: Donate to The Beauty Drive

Hey all! Sharing a post that my friend Iya put up on Facebook. If you follow my blog, you’re almost certainly a beauty enthusiast like I am and you understand that although being into makeup and beauty can be affordable, it’s mostly a luxury expense. Obviously food and shelter are the most basic of needs, but basic hygiene and grooming are up there on the list of essentials, too.

The victims of typhoon Yolanda (or Haiyan. Read my post about that here) probably have so much on their minds right now… I can’t even imagine. There are a ton of ways to help them, but here’s one way in particular that a beauty enthusiast like you can help them decrease the burden of going through all of this. Will just post my friend’s memo here:

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“ATTN beauty editors, beauty bloggers, and makeup-loving friends—here’s a way to help out Yolanda survivors that’s right on your turf: a Beauty Drive! 

Bro. Armin Luistro, the DepEd secretary, called for donations of lipstick, powder, and blush for teachers affected by super typhoon Yolanda. School has already resumed in some parts of Leyte, and teachers have lost the makeup basics they use to make themselves look presentable in front of their classes. Brand new and minimally-used products (disinfect the used ones first, please) are welcome!

What You Can Donate:
-Makeup (particularly lipstick, blush, powder)
-Skincare (facial washes, moisturizers)
-Haircare (shampoo, combs, clips, headbands)
-Toiletries (soap, lotion, body washes)

Deadline is on November 28, Thursday, since Bro. Armin will be heading to Tacloban shortly after to deliver the goods. We have drop-off points at The Fort, Eastwood, Mandaluyong, and Parañaque areas! Just email larissajoson@gmail.com and nicole@beautyandsparkle.com to coordinate. Thank you!” 

I think this is a great idea and I hope that donations of this kind will help the people of Visayas resume some kind of normalcy. Of course that doesn’t mean I feel they should rush, but it’s incredible that some teachers are already going back to work. I have so much respect for people who have a deep sense of duty towards their calling. Education is such an important part of life and I can imagine that going back to school after the typhoon will be a be a big step towards emotional recovery.

Thanks for checking this out and I hope you consider making a donation. :)

*Photo credit: Steph Yapnayon 

P.S. Check out Beauty and Sparkle, Nicole Romero’s newly set-up blog! She’s been in the beauty industry for years and has just joined the blogging world. Her site’s gorgeous (and so is she)! This beauty drive is a litte project she and Iya are working on together. :)

Guerlain Ecrin 4 Couleurs: Le Bois de Rose

After I bought Turandot, I knew I wanted more Guerlain eyeshadows in my life. What’s funny is that I’ve always wanted a Dior 5-shadow palette, not Guerain stuff, but I never end up buying Dior palettes for one reason or another. Anyway, Les Bois de Rose is my second Guerlain 4-colour palette. It’s more cool-toned than I would normally go for, but I was looking to try some pink eyeshadows and was not adventurous enough to go all-out and get Les RosesLBDRThere are times when I wish I did go for Les Roses, but I grew to love Les Bois de Rose over time. The four shades balance each other out nicely, with that rose pink in the center being the only really pink shade in the palette. The shimmery white has a pinkish undertone, while the other two shades are purple-y taupes. It’s put together beautifully and you can create so many looks with this combination of colours. 

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Haiyan

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 11.10.55 PMI was not going to write about Haiyan.

The only mention I made of it before now was on my Facebook page where I shared the news that our Filipino men posted at Ayungin Reef are alive. Let me expand on that here. They weathered the storm in a rusty WW2-era shipwreck called the BRP Sierra Madre, which is used as a makeshift base. The Chinese ships in the area had fled in fear of Haiyan and many are calling it a small victory for the Philippines (actual occupation gives us the stronger claim over the tiny cluster of islands. Read more on that here). But the Chinese will be back to bully us again another day in their shiny, fully-functional “fishing” vessels. What’s heartbreaking is that our Marines didn’t even have the choice to flee the storm. The sad, sorry excuse of a base, though seemingly formidable from afar, isn’t even capable of moving them an inch toward safety. Our men could have died and our (literally) poor country couldn’t give them any advantage in trying to avoid that.

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 11.08.39 PMI was not planning to talk about about Haiyan.

News coverage and the cries of our people on social media have already permeated every corner of my life and I am sure you’ve had your taste of it as well. Enough at least to know that the typhoon was one of the strongest in recorded history, that it flattened town after town in the Visayas, and that it caused the storm surge that left lifeless bodies strewn all over Tacloban, the city that undoubtedly got the worst of it all. Leyte province’s capital city is suddenly known throughout the world–the people of Tacloban this, the people of Tacloban that. At first it was funny to hear the foreign news reporters mispronounce the city’s name, but I’ve heard it so often now that my ears hardly pick up the difference anymore. I wish there wasn’t a disaster to report about at all.

Mayor Duterte of Davao visited the city today to survey the area and bring much-needed aid. The normally very composed, tough-talking mayor was emotional and seemed to hold back tears after seeing the plateaued city. Relief efforts have been shameful and the local government was clearly totally disabled because they were the victims, too. “God must have been somewhere else or he forgot that there is a planet called Earth,” said Duterte, and I do think that the fact that a man like Duterte was close to tears nearly says it all. Add climate change representative Yeb Sano’s emotional speech (see that here) before the UN climate meeting to that, and you’ll get a sense of the levels of frustration we’re all probably experiencing right now.

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 10.59.39 PMBut I need to talk about Haiyan, as an individual. As a Filipino.

If only to say that my heart is broken and bleeding for every single soul that was lost to a damned super storm. The death toll climbs by the day but even the thought of just one person being ripped away from their family guts me from the deepest pit of my stomach. Many people in Manila and abroad have not heard from their families in affected areas. How agonizing must it be to sit and wait, relying on a missing persons database or messages passed through one person or another. The dead line the streets. Each body was once someone’s someone.

My heart is screaming for a government that actually does something for its people both in times of emergency and otherwise, but most especially now. The relief effort, as I mentioned earlier, is shameful. Four (close to five) days have passed and still there isn’t much help arriving at Tacloban, and even less to more remote areas. “Trickling in” is the phrase that reporters seem to be using to describe the relief efforts. Much of that help is coming from other countries.

My heart is humbled by their generosity. The US, UK, Japan, Australia, and several countries from the European Union have pledged everything from money, to ships, aircraft, troops, and supplies. Thank you is not enough.

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 12.00.34 AMI’m not writing this post to call for donations or to tell you what you should be doing to help. You can decide what to do on your own. This tragedy has left me frustrated, angry, and deeply saddened. My humanity tells me not to sit on those feelings. Your own humanity will tell you what to do, if only you are willing to listen. Write. Share articles/info online. Pack goods. Donate money. All those things are fantastic–but get riled up about it. Do it with feeling. Make it come from the heart.

I love my country and my heart will swell and break for it for as long as I live.

 

* All photos from CNN.com, clicking on them will lead you to original article

** In case you do want to donate/help and have no clue where to begin, check out these pages: 

Rappler 

CNN

Fresh Bottle: Diptyque’s Eau Duelle

The first and only time I ever talked about fragrance on this blog was when I talked about Diptyque’s amazing Eau Duelle (edit: my bad, I wrote about Miss Dior Cherie once, long ago). Click here if you want to visit that post, where I wrote a bit about the fragrance but mostly about the process of finding it. I’m quite stubborn when it comes to personal scents. I’ve never written about another one since that (August 2012) post simply because I’ve not used another since then.

DED1I had a 100mL bottle in the old packaging and that should have lasted me through the end of this year, but now I have a new one because…

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Review: Bare Minerals Prime Time Foundation Primer

A few years ago when I was just starting to get into makeup, the Smashbox Photoready primers were huge. Everyone was talking about them, nearly every girl had one, and of course I wanted one, too. At the time it sold for around 950 pesos and I really saved up for it, only to find that I didn’t get on with it at all. I had purchased the most basic of the options (there’s a green one, purple one, and various other ones for different skin concerns) and I felt like I was slapping pure silicone on to my face. To me, it was the most uncomfortable experience ever. Others loved the velvety feel, but my skin felt starved for air! As a consequence, I don’t buy  Smashbox products (also because they are grossly overpriced!) and since then I have only ever purchased two other primers: the Laura Mercier radiance primer, which I like to use as a highlighter, and the Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Prime Time foundation primer (900.00 Php at Bon Marche and listed at $23 on the Bare Escentuals website), which I’ll be talking about today.
BMPT1Sorry about the little rant, it’s just annoying that bad experiences can put you off from trying out other things that could potentially be great. And great is exactly what Prime Time is! 

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Sneak Peek: Human Heart Nature Overnight Elixir

I recently tried a sample of the reformulated Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum and I loved it. I stretched out one sample sachet to about five uses (good job, me! haha) but I knew I was not going to buy the full-size because it costs 5,300.00 Php. No, I did not accidentally add one more zero to that figure. It really will set you back 5k!

ESP1Imagine my delight then (that is a funny phrase–“imagine my delight” hmm) when I saw on Khristine’s instagram that Human Heart Nature would be coming out with their own Overnight Elixir. 100% Natural, with no harmful chemicals, and Philippine-made pa! I checked HHN stalls the next day, but they can take some time to deliver stock, so I just ordered it off of the website instead !It arrived a couple of days ago in this box. Wanna see the bottle? I know you do! ;)

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Updates, updates, updates!

I know that publishing a beauty blog post without any photo whatsoever is ill-advised, but I’ve a lot of talking to do and no stock photos to really match what I want to talk about. Lol. So bear with me for this post and read on only if you’re interested in some quick updates about (1) my skin, (2) the makeup no-buy one-month mark, (3) my September favourites (or lack thereof) and (4) what ever happened to the hunt for an eye cream. Reviews and other photo-ful posts will follow. :) Here we go!

1. The Combination Skin Situation

I’m pretty much used to having combination skin by now, although I still hate that my skin subjected me to this change. Haha. I actually miss having dry skin because it is just so much easier to nourish dry skin than it is to control excess oil. But hey, no use whining about what you can’t change! I’ve just been focusing on regulating the oil production by moisturizing my face enough but not too much. I’m still very happy with the skincare regimen I adopted after seeing a dermatologist. Leaning how to control my oily T-zone with the help of makeup has actually been interesting and maybe even a little bit fun. Here are a few things I’ve been doing that I find to be helpful:

  • Working in my base (be it a CC cream or a foundation) really well and in very thin layers. I tend to use my fingers with CC creams and a buffing brush for foundations. Using thin layers is key!
  • Setting my base with my Clinique Stay Matte translucent powder. Still really loving that stuff.
  • Using a Clean & Clear blotting sheet right after doing my face in the morning. Patting one all over my face right after finishing just makes sense because it absorbs all of the extra oils right away. If I wait until two hours later before I blot, my makeup will have shifted a bit already no matter how gently I pat my face down. Of course I still carry the sheets in my bag for touch-ups throughout the day, but using one as a sort of preventive measure has really been working for me.
  • Using a primer when I need my makeup to last any longer than 8 hours. I’ve been using the bareMinerals Prime Time foundation primer and I like it a lot. Review to follow. ;)

It has really been just a matter of managing my skin properly. As for the pimples, I’ve had only a handful in the past month, which is really impressive considering I was under a lot of stress. They weren’t huge, cystic pimples either. Very manageable.

2. One Month of Zero Makeup Purchases 

September was the first month of my four-month makeup no-buy which I wrote about here. No beating around the bush here–it was tough. There were a couple of times when I felt close to meltdown because I realized nail polish and even lipbalms were a part of the ban . I also feel super anxious when I think about how I only have two mascaras in stock for use from now until the end of the year… and then there’s the stuff that I began to want during the ban. Among them are the Clinique Chubby Sticks for eyes, VMV Ooh-La-Lash mascara, Zoeva makeup brushes, and the Sleek Sunset palette. I haven’t made a list or anything because I get the feeling that if I do, I’ll just buy everything on there when January rolls around. Though on the flip side it may also be a good idea to keep a list so that I can track the things that I won’t want anymore at the end of all this.

This month has not been completely free of makeup acquisitions though (thank goodness). My mom came home from the US this Saturday with an Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light for me. Can’t express how happy that made me! Really. It was quite sad. Haha. The product looks amazing but I’ve not tried it out just yet. It’s sitting on my desk beside me as I write… I tend to keep things out and in sight when they are new. I’ve missed doing that! Hehe.

3. “September Favourites” 

I won’t be posting a monthly favourites list for September because it’s already a week into October and also because I didn’t really wear too much makeup this month. You don’t exactly need to look like a million bucks when you’re taking an exam… neither do you when you go to the mall or to dinner, but ya know what I mean! My only concern this month was looking decent enough to be out in public. Haha!

4. Eye Cream — Do We Really Need It? Really?

I don’t know the answer to that. But while doing a little bit of research on which eye cream I should get to replace my Lancome sample, I came across a lot of material on eye creams being glorified moisturizers. That’s not something I’ve never heard before, but a review of the argument made it sound more convincing than it had originally been. Or maybe I just don’t want to spend 3k on a little tube/pot of cream? Could be a mix of both reasons and more, really. Bottom line is that I decided not to get an eye cream. Instead I’m going to try to work in my regular moisturizer a little better with some massage-like movements around the eye area. Hope it works and that I’m not passing up on something vital.

Do you have any opinions on the matter?

FOTD – Sept. 17, 2013

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I don’t post looks very often because I feel like I’m awful at capturing the colours well. I also sometimes think that I look the same in all of the pictures… but I guess you can see the difference when they’re placed side by side! Here’s what I had on today yesterday. I reviewed a lot of these products recently, actually. The Clinique CC cream review should be up in a few days so watch out for that! :)

Base: Clinique CC Cream mixed with Vichy Normaderm Teint, MUD Blue Corrector #3, K Palette Zero Kuma Concealer, Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, and Clinique Stay-Matte Pressed powder (translucent) with UD De-Slick sprayed over top to set

Cheeks: MAC Small Vanity blush

Eyes: L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Amber Rush on the lids, MAC Espresso on the outer-V and on the lower outer lash line, Inglot shimmery pink on the inner corner, Fairyfrops Platinum mascara (waterproof variant), and Shu Uemura Hard 9 Eyebrow pencil in seal brown

Lips: Too Faced La Creme lipstick in Spice Spice Baby

P.S. You can click on the photo to enlarge it! 

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