Bless My Bag

beauty bagged by a cheeky Filipina

Five to Feel Good | Beauty bits that make it better!

This is sort of a different mix, today is beauty blogging with a swirl of what’s personal in it.  Many of you know it’s been a rough couple of weeks for me since we got home from hospital with Dad.  While I haven’t been able to set my mind on certain things like makeup and cosmetics for anything other than work lately there are still a couple of beauty bits I won’t be without now simply because they’ve just basically been helping me feel better throughout all this.  This post has to be one for the books in the sense that at a time when the last thing I wanted to think about was “stuff” this stuff just had to be around because they just worked period.  Thankfully now we’ve hired a temporary nurse for Dad so that eases lots of the tension in the daily to-do area.  Today, I did want to share about the products that bring me temporal comfort right now and sort of…cushion the scenario if you will.  These are simple comforts that function as a sort of outer balm for my inner well-being.  That’s what a bit of beauty or wellness loot can sort of help to achieve, right?  Especially if they really excellently do what they’re supposed to.  So straightaway now, here are my current feel-good picks.

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1.) Burt’s Bees Fabulously Fresh Peppermint & Rosemary Body Wash (available at Beauty Bar)

I was having one of those teary-eyed low moments in the shower from stress (we girls get that when things are tough, right, no shame in it at all) and decided to try something different to change it up.  I pulled this from my new Burt’s Bees arrivals and brought it with me to my Tita’s house when I slept over and to my surprise when I lathered it up in the shower the minty aromatherapy-ish scent filled the bathroom and GET THIS, GIRLS,  I actually SMILED, I kid you not, the freakin’ bath gel made me smile  upon catching the first whiff.  Then I caught myself and stopped and looked at the bottle for details coz I thought it was like a Twilight Zone moment, you know, being in tears but then suddenly smiling by yourself in the shower LOL.  Good job, Burt’s Bees, you can be sure I’m getting the full size of this, I hadn’t had a moment with a bath gel like that ever.

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Yesterday’s morning walk…

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2.)  G Stuff “Touch of Awakening” Eucalyptus Rosemary and Thyme Massage Oil (Php500+ for 250ml)

Next to prayer there’s nothing that relieves anything faster than touch therapy.  Seriously speaking, I don’t know how many bottles of this G stuff we’ve already consumed as a family for massages.  The smell of Eucalyptus and Rosemary transports you from the bad to the good in just a few minutes.  This is hands down (literally) my favorite massage oil because it doesn’t sit on top of the skin and after you actually feel soft instead of greasy!  Like you know how sometimes after a massage you want to take a shower because of the oily feeling?  It’s the opposite situation with this, I actually have a complete shower and scrub prior to the massage and after the massage I just go over myself with a dry towel and I feel super baby soft and put my clothes back on.  One cousin of mine when she was abroad consumed a whole bottle which we gave her like super quick because it kept dry skin away better than any other cream or lotion she had with her.  According to her it was working so well that when she ran out she fell into a bad mood lol!  She kept asking where we got this. The products of the brand G Stuff are Virgin Coconut Oil based and the brand provides livelihood opportunities for local communities since profits go back to them.  The G Stuff boutique we go to is at Rockwell but will try to edit in other locations where you can get them.

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Prayers on paper… :)

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3.) HURRAW Earl Grey Lip Balm (Vegan/ Cold pressed)

I’ve mentioned this way too many times, but yes it is a source of comfort to me.  HURRAW, my favorite lip balm brand on the planet did the world a good thing when they thought up their Earl Grey Lip Balm.  It’s my favorite tea flavor in a vegan cold-pressed oil lip balm, need I ask for more? Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks said “Tea is balm for the soul.” Inquire via Cutieverse.com or @cutieverse on Instagram for where to get Hurraw locally :)

4.) Diptyque’s VIOLETTE (violet floral) scented candle 6oz $60,  NYC

This Violette candle was a birthday gift from my cousin in NYC.  We were happily exploring along Bleecker Street last April and we walked into Diptyque and as a sweet birthday gesture she told me she’d get this for me when she saw me smelling it.  We have Diptyque locally but last I checked Rustan’s doesn’t stock this particular scent which is special.  The smell of violets is unique because it’s a sweet floral…so there’s a tartness that isn’t fruity, I know it’s hard to imagine, you can only know what I mean if you smell this candle.  To be clear, I haven’t lit this yet, but I will most likely tomorrow evening since the weather has cooled down already.  What I have been doing recently is I have been taking it to my nose and sniffing it because it just smells sooo pretty.

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5.) Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment Cream (with Avocado)

The normal thing would be to leave your eye cream at home, but as of a few weeks ago this made its home in my handbag for quite awhile, nestled anything but neatly in the side-pocket of my bag along with the ugliness of receipts, earrings, and my Earl Grey Lip Balm.  Since the upset of our peaceful routine at home I hadn’t been putting much  makeup on with the exception of mascara, brows, and concealer.  I’d also been getting dryness around the eye area so seeing this in my hand bag it’s easy to remember to swipe some on my lids and under my eyes before or after I apply my mascara. It hydrates and absorbs quickly and does have that nourishing quality about it since it contains avocado.  I needn’t mention to you anymore that this is Lisa Eldridge’s eye cream of choice at the moment, really not the least bit necessary to mention that, right? LOL.  What also sold me on this was YouTuber Zoella’s testimonial of what it did for her eyes which were having a massive seasonal allergic reaction and dryness reaction(she said the skin under her eyes cracked) at the same time to something else.  She couldn’t put anything else on with the exception of this eye cream by Kiehl’s which made it all better according to her.

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“And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in Thee…”  Psalm 39:7

We all go through some tough times and while I know for now this is but a season for me and my family it’s always a comfort to know there are simple steps we can take to being better and becoming better in general.  I’m also grateful for the people who have sincerely cared about us and helped us whether through prayer or encouraging words.  While personally and spiritually tried in these moments I’m deeply joyful, thankful, and excited for what God has in store for the next season in my life.  I’m learning how to trust without the need for the “Why”, because that’s what true trust is all about, believing what He says and that He loves and cares for each one of us as we need Him to.  The Father really knows what He’s doing all the time, even if we can’t see the sunlight which is actually always, always above and beyond the rain, but it’s never gone, just out of sight sometimes.  I take comfort in knowing that His plan for each one of us is custom made and nothing at all is by accident.  He will complete His work in us when He chooses to and to see it unfold will bring unspeakable joy.

 

 

Scentsation, Better Together | Clinique Calyx Over Benefit Bathina Oil

A late posted revelation but I did realize this a couple of weeks back.  You know how lots of us have been wishing Benefit Bathina’s sultry yet demure, fragrantly pheromone-ish fragrance could be bottled as an actual fragrance?  Benefit came close with the body oil but what’s funny is…I’m hoping my nose is as sharp as I think it is coz it seems Clinique with their modern scent Calyx has done just that.  I sprayed Calyx on my left wrist and Benefit’s Bathina oil on my wrist and the Calyx didn’t smell all too different to me. If ever there is a subtle difference it would be that Calyx has a slightly (and I say slightly) sharper and significantly more floral note and Bathina has a milder, milkier floral note.

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Given the very subtle difference it makes a lot of sense if you decide to lightly layer Calyx over Benefit’s Bathina Body Oil. The combination results in an irresistibly alluring modern day scent for the slow transition from summer to the ‘Ber months. Try and test my thoughts and tell me if you agree :).

Life, Makeup With Music, and Me :)

Hi, yes I know a bit of a huge setback there huh, but yes I am still here.  For those of you who haven’t been following my social media updates on the FB page and Instagram my father had his third hospital confinement since I arrived from New York in April.  He was confined in April, in May overnight for something different, and this June for another stroke.  While I was in New York he had already suffered from a handful of minor acute strokes and my mother was updating me via mobile while I was abroad.  When I came back I found that my father had quite significantly changed from how I remember him before I left for New York City, he was kind of  mentally grasping sometimes to complete statements he wanted to make, or he wanted to make a joke but would lose the thought and become sad, and my heart would melt with empathy.  God has been faithful because Dad is still well enough to walk around and play golf with assistance, but sadly his memory has been somewhat affected.  Right now he has a bunch of medications, follow-up checkups, and a restricted diet we all have to be hawks about since he has no caregiver so I’ve been having to adjust and I’ll admit I haven’t been 100% a saint about it half the time.  I’ve been having to deal.  Thank you for being understanding in this time of the blog being somewhat blank momentarily but please believe me when I say I really do not intend for it to stay this way for much longer, I want to be back AS IN BACK and with a bang.  In fact, I wanted to share something today.  While I was looking for some other older music by Regina Spektor I came upon one of her music videos, and while I might be the last person on the planet to see the art direction of her 2012 video release “How” (which is like a modern female rendition of Unchained Melody in my head lol)    I was absolutely delighted by the art direction and how beautifully styled Regina was that it has inspired me to blog again and create future features for the blog despite the circumstances.

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I like how porcelain skin was made the brief but done in a way that was somewhat vintage but not too dated.  I like that the makeup is present, noticeable, but applied in a restrained manner so that it doesn’t clash with the quirky yet effective art direction.

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There’s something muted yet simultaneously vibrant at the same time about this video.  I love how they made her coral lips the key vibrance in the art direction.  A current lipstick favorite right now in the blog community that people are raving about and that I’ve seen look similar online is Clinique’s Matte Mandarin from their new generation Long Last Soft Matte range (which isn’t a dead matte) lipstick and it is not yet available here on counters, I inquired at the Clinique Boutique (don’t you love how that rhymes) at SM Aura.  MAC Lady Danger would probably be close but a little more intense orange-y red, but Clinique Matte Mandarin which I saw Ruth of AModelRecommends wear and apply over here on YouTube looks to be somewhat of  a better softer match.  Embedded below is Regina Spektor’s quirky yet wistful music video for her song “How”.

Andalou Naturals Age Defying Starter Kit | Try 5 Deluxe Samples for Less

My appreciation for Andalou Naturals Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk goes without saying, it works well with or without my Clarisonic Mia2 and I have been wanting to try out their Super Goji Peptide Perfecting Cream and the Bio8 Berry Fruit Enzyme Mask from the same range.  But I have  a couple of full sized moisturizers and a serum on hand that I’ve currently been going through and you know how it is, that wouldn’t make sense to buy 2 full sized products both for full price.  I did note however that I’d used up most of my travel size mini skincare items which I take along with me on trips out of town or on overnight events, which led me to get the Andalou Naturals Age Defying Range starter kit which includes the cleansing milk I use as well as the two other items I wanted to try, the Perfecting Cream and Fruit Enzyme Mask.

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FRUIT STEM CELLS – Renews dormant Cells, awakens cells to behave younger, repairs damaged cells, increases cell longevity and vitality, regenerates healthy cells, stimulates healthy cell production.

for dry, very dry, and sensitive skin types. Php995 starter kit at Healthy Options

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It also comes with a toner and Night Cream.  At Healthy Options, you get all 5 Deluxe Travel sized samples for Php995, if you’ve got a rebate voucher on you as a frequent Healthy Options shopper then even better.  If you have sensitive to dry skin I highly recommend getting this to try out the range I like.  I also like how the back of the box is very clear about what each product does and there are Directions for Use at the back of each tube.  I highly appreciate brands that package their products in a way so that they try not leave out anything in terms of product info and application, plus this range does the job well without irritating my skin.  To be safe, if you want to try the starter kit for the first time do a small patch test first of any product along your jaw or neck before trying any on your entire face.

 

Dr. Woods Solid Castile Soap Bars | Simplify Makeup Brush Deep Cleansing

I’ve reviewed the multi-purpose Dr. Woods Liquid Castile Soap range before here in this post which is practically the local dupe for the acclaimed Dr. Bronner’s castile soap range abroad.  I’ve been using Dr. Woods to shampoo or deep clean my makeup brushes.  Hundreds (possibly perhaps thousands by now) of beauty enthusiasts, makeup artists, and bloggers have taken to using gentler product alternatives to shampoo their makeup brushes so that facial skin is less likely to negatively react upon their use.  Just when I thought my brush cleansing options couldn’t get any better, they did.  I’m not saying I’ve got the scoop on these being new out, they’re probably not new, but I’m glad I spotted them.  The solid bar soap versions of my favorite Dr. Woods Liquid Soaps.  I purchased these for under Php250.00 each at Healthy Options.

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My favorite variants are the unscented Baby Castile Soap for Sensitive Skin and the Peppermint Invigorating variants.  – Php250.00 at Healthy Options

What makes it so much simpler to use is that now, unlike before, I don’t need to go through the whole process of diluting the liquid soap with water.  I can just have my soap in a tray nearby, soak my brush, do several brush strokes over the soap bar, and begin lathering in my hand, then rinse.  It’s that simple, no more mixing, measuring or diluting.

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Here is a brush I just shampooed and dried after with a kitchen towel.  A good thing to note is for some reason the soap potency in the bar seems stronger than the liquid range, just a few strokes with a wet brush over the cake and it lathers up manually on the brush very generously.  It’s also a better alternative for makeup artists who travel a lot, just find a sturdy soap case to keep it in.  Head on over to Healthy Options if you’d like to try out this range of castile soaps.

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