Bless My Bag

beauty bagged by a cheeky Filipina

Benefit’s NEW Balms | The Tints We Love Go Balmy

Benefit Cosmetics recently released tinted versions of what we all might recall as lip balms or lip butters.  The shades released for these lip balms are all drawn from the existing lip & cheek tints in the Benefit family.  They’re tenderly (not annoyingly) rose scented and come prettily packaged just like high-end lipsticks do.  Many people are immense fans of sheer tint and balmy formulas that aren’t sticky, if you’re one of them, these are for you.  I think I first saw Anna of Vivianna Does Makeup give a quick rave about these on YouTube over a month ago.  The Benefit team just sent over the whole balm range and I’ve had a go at testing and trying them out.

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“Benefit lip balms condition and hydrate lips with mango butter and sodium hyaluronate.” (rose scented) Php1000.00 from local Benefit Boutiques

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These lipgloss sticks or lip balms feel quite luxurious on the lips, but I’ll have to be honest, for the sheerness I do feel it is slightly overpriced at Php1000.00.  They’re great but…hmmm, I did expect more of a “Wow” factor swatching these and I sort of got the “wow” feel but not quite the visual “wow” I was hoping for.  Maybe that’s just because my lips are quite strong in color and I don’t get the payoff I personally expect to see, someone with paler lips would maybe.  I tried prepping my  reddish lips with concealer to take photos but the buttery balm would mix with the concealer and the shade wouldn’t show up true on camera so I decided to skip lip photos and show these to you in swatches instead.  They do smell nice though and feel awesome and comforting to put on.  These balms in texture don’t feel cheap on the lips and are very hydrating, they remind me of the Korres lip butters but in stick form.  The most pigmented shade of the lot and the one I like to go with is BeneBalm which is based on BeneTint’s rouge tint.  It makes my lips look like I’ve pressed them together all the time.

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The metallic lip balm packaging of these Benefit lip balms is well-made, all feel tightly assembled and not like they’re gonna come apart at one drop.  Any shade would make a lovely present for a girlfriend.  For evening occasions another possible use for these balms I just realized is when we’re wearing certain shades of lipstick our lips tend to feel dry later in the evening, topping up with one of these balms on top of the lipstick in the center of the lips (like Benebalm on red lipstick, chacha balm for peachy nude lipsticks e.g.) can add some comfort and moisture later in the evening when our lips are event-weary.  All balms are available now from Benefit boutiques locally for Php1000.00.  Follow @benefitbeautyph on Instagram for moreproduct and event updates for you Benebabes :).

NCLA 5-Free Nails “Clear the Runway”

Fashion month will soon be upon us and deeper, darker looking days are coming.  I like vampy slicks of burgundy on my fingertips around this time…if stereotypically so be it and so what LOL.  I like the hint of a grape  undertone on NCLA’s shade “Clear the Runway”.

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Jacket: Jr. Gaultier, Pants: H&M,
Nails: NCLA Php800.00 at Nail &. Co Salon, Kensington Place, Burgos Circle, BGC Taguig.

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I had mine on in 3 coats and also used their clear top coat (wasn’t too impressed by the top coat because it took quite awhile to dry up completely) Application isn’t quite even ’til the 2nd coat but once you get it on in fairness my nails didn’t chip at all for a week, I only acquired noticeable tip wear by about the 4th or 5th day. 
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Overall pretty good value for a 5-free (toxin free) formula.  NCLA also do impressive nail wraps which I will feature eventually as well because I am way too excited about an upcoming collection they have in THAT department.  Follow @shopNCLA on Instagram and check out their polish and nail weap products and have them applied at Nail & Co. Salon, Kensington Place, Burgos Circle (fort),  BGC Taguig.

Are You Restless? | The Beauty Behind the Restless

There was an inspirational video last night that somewhat moved me to pieces called “Restless” a small group series based on the book by Christian author and inspirational speaker, Jennie Allen.  It was posted in December 2013, so it isn’t that ancient and I’m glad both the teaser and message are in HD video.  There was a sacred romance behind it, but it wasn’t about relationships, it was about something Greater.  Here I’m first posting the animated book teaser and at the end of this post is the actual 20 minute motivational message that I really recommend for ANY woman no matter who you are.

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How many of us women know that regardless of what age we’re at, whether married or not, whether we’re corporate career women, small time entrepreneurs, or bound to the home sometimes even in the midst of having everything we need or whether everything is in its place or misplaced we find ourselves restless?  Something kind of revealing occurred to me from last night to this morning.  If your childhood was laced with the fantasies of Disney’s now overtly commercialized princesses take heart…there was so much more meaning behind them than you realize, it wasn’t just about selling you Disneyland.  Notice.  We all want more, something deeper, and we shush ourselves when we feel that way.

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“Just around the riverbend…”

At the very, very peak of their questioning, despair, the burgeoning of these princesses’ hearts or whatever it was that set off their situations…something greater and bigger than they expected lay in store for them and if you look at the whole story it wasn’t just about their own happy ending, it was always about something GREATER for everyone’s good needing to be set right, too.  Sometimes it’s just about to happen and sometimes, or many times honestly, it takes time, trust, and patience for your adventure to arrive.  However you need to be seeking and posted in the right place, and trusting and believing in the right Person, and that is Jesus.  You’re allowed to disagree with me and I’m allowed to share what I believe in :).

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In Jennie Allen’s beautifully and simply edited  video message she mentions at one point she was newly married with a good, sweet husband and a baby and yet she was staring at the ceiling…restless.  I’m sure some of you who are new Moms have felt this way sometimes.  Sometimes the restlessness is not about our not being content enough, it just means your heartstrings are being pulled for God’s purpose.  He never wants to just stop and sit comfortably, of course He wants us to enjoy life, but there’s more to it than just being comfortable, there’s something greater, it involves stretching and that is more than okay, it’s amazing and we are loved by Someone everlasting who will make it happen, but we need to shed all fear, He can do that for you.  The part that moved me most in her video message was from YouTube clip time 19:03 til the end in case you don’t have time to watch the whole video. Before that she quotes from Hebrews which was a life changing passage for me this last season which I had to believe. Take a 20 min break and Watch this video.

 

Human Nature Pure Rosehip Oil | Php695 Dupe for Pai Rosehip Facial Oil

Goodness in beauty just got exciting.  Do we ever find terrific budget dupes in the skincare department?  Dupes in skincare of course have nothing to do with “payoff” or “finish” and more to do with the overall effect on your skin whether instant or over time.  The question arises, is your skin left feeling the same wonderful way or in the same good condition as when you use the more expensive product you originally liked?  I’ve praised the Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate oil several times over the last year and a half.  That Pai oil was one of the skincare products I tried that delivered a difference OVERNIGHT when I mixed just a few drops with my moisturizer, relieving irritation and rebalancing my skin back to it’s supple self.  But gosh it’s pricy and hard to source from the UK or Singapore.  I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I prefer naturally sourced facial oils to serums for treating and nourishing my sensitive skin.  My mother came home with a treat from Human Nature last night and my eyes widened, and as far as I can tell it’s the newest birth from their product range.  Say hello to Human Nature’s Pure 100% Natural Rosehip Oil.  Say hello to it for Php695.00, for a high grade treatment oil that isn’t bad.  Human Nature claims it’s actually a multi-purpose treatment oil that can be used on any area of skin that needs healing or rebalancing.  I wouldn’t even hesitate to try it on chapped lips or for ultra specific cases like soothing the browbone or upper lip area after you’ve waxed, shaved, or tweezed even.  Mainly, however I prefer to use it to treat my whole face.  Yup, you bet this went straight onto my face last night, two drops with my moisturizer.

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INGREDIENT: 100% Natura Pure Rosehip Oil

“Step into the light with a new chapter of healing with Human Nature’s 100% natural, pure, premium grade Rosehip Oil. Cold-processed from top-quality rosehip fruit hand-picked and ripened to perfection, each potent drop is rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids that help improve skin elasticity, assist in skin regeneration, and reduce uneven pigmentation.

- Vitamin A and Beta Carotene help improve the turnover of skin cells
- 80% Fatty Acids (Omega 3, 6, 9) assists in regenerating and rebuilding the skin
- Vitamin C helps brighten the appearance of skin

Bridge skin recovery to radiant rebirth and let clearer, younger-looking skin spring forth.”

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Pure is potent, that’s for certain.  First, let me say, hats off to the gorgeous packaging, hello?!  It’s a dainty glass bottle which suggests that Tarte’s Maracuja Oil (same push dropper) and Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair eloped and had a beautiful budget baby…no, really LOOK!  Even the box looks nice in photos.  Did I mention the Heaven-sent fact that the product is fragrance free?  I love how like a handful of us who have our ears to the ground are really starting to GET IT, what we actually need to be better in the local beauty industry.  Look at me being all Michael Bay-ish with my flares.  You’d think next up some Human Nature products were going to walk out hero style in slow motion to save the world.

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The consistency of the oil is less dense that that of the Pai Rosehip Oil and more like Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate in liquid form.  I put two drops into my moisturizer and slept overnight with it and woke up to rebalanced better skin.  There was a small skin issue that felt instantly relieved by my use of this.  Recently I’ve been having a bit of a problem with a small area on the right side of my face, a case of some ingrown hair near my jaw and ear causing pore inflammation or premature zits, the medical term being mild folliculitis which is an inflammation of some of the hair follicles near the sideburns by my right ear.  My mistake was I kept trying to pick and pull in that area, or tried to tweeze the hair, but the problem would resurface.  I was told recently by a dermatologist at an event that regular glycolic exfoliation helps prevent this (which of course I wasn’t doing).  When I put two drops of this Rosehip oil with my moisturizer in one night the inflammation or irritation of the pores in that area=was reduced by half and is already better.

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Tonight I actually want to try applying this purely and directly on the affected area without my moisturizer and see if this helps heal it more quickly over the next week.  Overall just like the effect I get with the Pai Rosehip Oil my skin feels nourished and rebalanced and what I like is there’s no greasy feel in the morning when I wake up.  I’m so happy I’ve found a local facial oil alternative it ticks all the boxes that matter AND it’s proudly Pinoy!  You can purchase Human Nature’s Pure Rosehip Oil for Php695.00 from their online site shop here or check out Human Nature at their retail outlets, find a store near you from this list.

 

Hey Hey, Everything Earl Grey

And so it happened that somehow I managed to find myself with a couple of comforting delights flavored with my favorite full-leaf tea which had to mean it was worthy of a post centered on everything Earl Grey.  A couple of lovely brands over at the Legazpi Sunday market sweetly indulged me with Earl Grey flavored treats and helped make this post possible.  Mom got me the ice cream elsewhere.  You can’t imagine how pleased I looked smiling upon all of them together (actually, only 4 things on top of my requisite grey sweater)…I almost clapped LOL.

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CLOCKWISE: Merry Moo Earl Grey Ice Cream (local artisanal ice cream, made with milk from free range cows), Fat Fingers PH Earl Grey Macarons (filled with Earl Grey tea infused dark & milk chocolate ganache), HURRAW Cold-Pressed Vegan Earl Grey Lip Balm from Cutieverse, Twinings Earl Grey Tea Bags.

I’ll now have to admit that I haven’t blogged about Merry Moo Earl Grey Ice cream ever since I first discovered it…kind of on purpose because I wanted to keep it a secret (it’s always in limited stock…*hits the backspace key…sighs and moves on* lol).  Merry Moo is a wonderful local ice cream brand that does uniquely marvelous ice cream in artistanal flavors like Candied Bacon (tried it, it isn’t weird at all), Strawberry Basil, Honey Comb, Salted Dark Chocolate, a couple of others and THANKFULLY Earl Grey Tea as well.  You can see some of the tea leaf flecks in the ice cream below.

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Merry Moo’s  Earl Grey offering is creamy, sophisticated and significantly yummy, if you like milk tea, I guarantee you’ll like this ice cream.

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Merry Moo have a lot of kiosks in the Metro and sell ice cream to eat or in Php300.00  pints to take home, they’re also at the Legazpi Sunday Market but don’t always have lots of pints on hand there, the ice cream is mostly scoops to go at the market.  The main kiosks I’m aware of are 4th flr foodcourt in SM Aura, EchoStore Market Market, Taguig, Glorietta 4 foodcourt (flr. before cinemas).  There are more kiosk branches though, check out their Facebook page for the full list.  In case your sweet tooth ain’t sore enough yet, the friendly people of Fat Fingers PH and Cutieverse.com put together a joint gift just for meeeee :D.  A combined present encasing my favorite Hurraw Earl Grey Lip Balm AND…OMY  WAIT FOR IT… Earl Grey Tea flavored macarons filled with dark chocolate Earl Grey infused ganache

*T-H-U-D*.

Fan me, say my name, help me stand.

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I won’t even begin to talk about my repeatedly mentioned ALL-TIME favorite lip balm past this next sentence.  This balm is nothing but good,  HURRAW was praised by NYLON magazine for merging the convenience of the pocket-able chap balm with the good of better ingredients, it tastes like Earl Grey, in the most comforting way plus the balm is cold-pressed and vegan.  That was a really long run-on next sentence.  As for these macarons, to be fair to you readers I will have to admit for your sake they are on the pricy side per piece (around Php45 each) but honestly these ARE YUMMY (just wish they were bigger for the price).  Hint-hint @fatfingersPH I love your macarons but I must be honest.  The macarons I tried abroad in Williamsburg, NYC were 75 UScents each (about Php33) they had drawings on them and they were about 25% bigger (not sure if I’m making a fair economic comparison but thought I’d mention for honesty’s sake).  God must’ve worked to make the team behind Fat Fingers bring two of my favorite dessert flavors together in these macarons…Earl Grey Tea and Dark Chocolate filling  to set me free…so, so yummy.  At home once in awhile I sit with a cup of Earl Grey tea while reading, but sometimes I get lost in thought and I forget to pull out the tea bag and it becomes too dark.Just thought I’d share a couple of my favorite Earl Grey treats since I acquired them all together this week.

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It’s actually good that I had this non-beauty post lined up…I really did just randomly decide yesterday to not blog about beauty today, gosh I would have never foreseen Robin William’s passing :( .  I almost wouldn’t have been able to do makeup stuff at all with this huge universal ache many of us share today.  Why did the world’s  relentless, giddy, funny man have to leave?  Another question unanswered for now.  I know, I am genuinely really sad about this.  Let’s hold hands, crow to the heavens and shout BANGARANG because the whole world needs to right now.  Who’s gonna make us laugh now, Robin?  It’s so strange that right now we need you because of you…am I making any sense?

 

 

 

 

 

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