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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Review: Happy Skin’s Eye Am The One Mascara — Is It Holy Grail Material?

Bet you weren’t expecting a review so soon after I posted about Happy Skin‘s “Beauty in Bloom” collection launch party (here)! We were given a few items from the collection on that day, but I actually bought the Eye Am The One Mascara (899.00 Php) well before the party (didn’t know I was going until a couple of days before). That means I’ve had sufficient time to get to know the product and work on this little write up for you guys. P1180590The sort of “subtitle” name of the Eye Am The One mascara is “Holy Grail.” On top of that, the box packaging proclaims that it is “your dream mascara!” You have to hand it to Happy Skin — they really do believe in their products. This fibre mascara is meant to give you “thicker and longer lashes with curls that will never droop.” It’s also supposed to be “smudge-proof, sweat-proof, tear-resistant, and sebum-resistant.” That’s a lot of claims for any one mascara, but Happy Skin took one full year to develop this formula and it’s made in Japan, so there was always good reason to bet on it. 

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Review: Maybelline’s White Superfresh Foundation (05 Sand Beige)

I’ll be honest—when Maybelline invited me to the launch of their new base product, I had low expectations. Their colour products have always been pretty damn good (eyeshadows, lipsticks…) but I used their powders back in college and they were not that great (I used them because I knew next to nothing about makeup back then and a powder was a powder was a powder).

At the launch (which you can read about here), I made it a point to keep an open mind. White Superfresh was introduced to bloggers and media as an affordable, oil-absorbing, no-need-for-touch-ups, long-wearing foundation. Exactly what college Mariana needed back in 2009-12ish and what a lot of girls in college today would love, no doubt. And guess what? After a few weeks of getting to know this foundation, even NON-college Mariana (i.e. me, now) loves this foundation. This review will tell you why.

P1180386 Overview of The Product

Maybelline’s White Superfresh Foundation* (299.00 Php) is the “no touch-up powder foundation” that claims to last for 12 straight hours without need of a touch-up. It’s an Asia-exclusive that was formulated with our hot, sunny weather in mind (hence it also has an SPF of 34 PA+++). The powder is enriched with mineral perlite, which supposedly allows the powder to absorb moisture five times better than regular talc.

Needless to say (but still very much worth pointing out), this is a foundation best suited for girls with combo/oily skin or those who find themselves in hot, sweaty situations often. I myself have combination skin, so I need to moisturise my cheeks properly before using this just so they don’t dry out by the end of the day.

There are four shades of this foundation available locally: 02 Nude Beige, 03 Natural, 04 Honey, and 05 Sand Beige. It’s a rather limited selection with none of the shades catering to deeper skin tones, so that is the one major flaw of the foundation. I initially received shade 02 and had to wait until I could pick up shade 05 before I could test out the product properly. You will see three of the four shades later on in this post.

I still find it hard to believe that a product like this is available for only 299.00 Php. That’s roughly 7 USD. Now, get ready for a pretty wordy and (hopefully) thorough review… you know I get excited when I really like something. Haha.

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Three from 3CE

Thank goodness for random 25% off sales and for the fact that Luxola carries 3CE. I already have a lipstick, gel eyeliner, and soft pencil liner from the brand from when I was still part of the BNT Girl program and I love all three of those things. Since then I have been eyeing loads of other 3CE things but haven’t picked anything up for one reason or another. When I saw the Luxola e-mail notifying me of a sale on the week before my birthday, I took it as a sign to finally pop the items I’d been eyeing into my shopping cart. P1170900I placed the order on Tuesday and by Thursday the parcel had arrived at my doorstep. If you follow me on instagram, you might have seen the post in which I expressed my happiness about that. Fast shipping is da bomb, you guys. That wasn’t the only awesome thing about this order though as aside from the 25% off I got on the eyeshadows, I ended up paying only 277.00 Php (!!!) for the Lip Color, which usually goes for 1.046.00 Php. I’m not sure if the huge discount was a fluke, but the sale price went back up to around 700Php the next time I checked the site and is at the time of this writing totally gone. Whatever the case is, I’ll take it as an early birthday gift! 

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Review: bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 2.0 in “The Epiphany”

P1160464This purchase was a long time coming. The bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow range has been on my radar for years now but I just kept passing them up in favour of other things… I really wanted either the duo called The Top Shelf or the quad called The Truth, but Sephora Singapore had neither. This duo — The Epiphany — caught my eye though because it was one that I hadn’t researched before (yes, I research my eyeshadow purchases. Everyone does that, right?). After quickly verifying that Temptalia rated it an A+, into my bag it went!
P1160465The READY eyeshadows come in duo or quad form and are labeled 2.0 and 4.0 respectively and accordingly. I picked up my 2.0 in The Epiphany for S$ 36.10 or approx. 1,224.00 Php. Still more expensive than the 20.00 USD listed on the bareMinerals website, but it’s not a bad price for the quality, considering MAC singles will set you back close to a thousand pesos these days.

P1160474The packaging is that rubbery black that you’ll be familiar with if you like NARS products, but the overall feel of the product is different because of the more rounded corners. It has that good quality packaging feel to it, but the rubbery black is a powder magnet so it starts to look dirty very quickly. It’s always annoying but we gotta take the bad with good sometimes, eh?

And damn is this eyeshadow formula good. 

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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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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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