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.
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.
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”.
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.
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
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.
I’ve reviewed the multi-purpose Dr. Woods Liquid Castile Soap range before here in this postwhich 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.
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.
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.
My skin had an urge for a skincare purge. The current skincare arsenal for this update has turned out to be quite minimal! Though they be few though they are potent and with just these four products my skin has been feeling calm, clean, and supple. Not every item is used daily but I haven’t been reaching for anything more than beyond these four…for now. What a drastic dial down, no? On the contrary, my skin has never felt more on the way up. I just realized in the last week that I had practically no whiteheads this month when I cut down to these four, nearly next to none.
While I went on and on genuinely last year about Les Couvent Des Minimes’ Beneficial Rose Cleansing Milk the truth is that one is over Php200 more expensive than this one by Andalou Naturals, their Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk which I have reviewed individually here. There is something just organically spot on with how this cleanser makes my skin feel after, it doesn’t feel stripped I also like that this creamy cleanser works quite well with this next gadget.
THE GLAM GADGET – The Clarisonic Mia 2 ($149.00 @ Macy’s NYC)
Yes, when I was in New York City, US I went for it and got myself a Clarisonic Mia 2 for my birthday (using a Macy’s gift card thanks, Tita Marisu) which now boasts 2 speeds. I got the limited edition polka dot one (though I’m kind of wishing I got the plain baby pink one). My mistake was in assuming this whole time that the Clarisonic brush-heads spin when they actually just make gentle sonic vibrations that cause the bristles to gently cleanse and exfoliate the skin’s surface without causing irritation, they also sell different brush heads separately. The Clarisonic Mia 2 also pulses in the midst of cleansing when it’s time to move to another area of the face. I use this about every other day, something like a Mon, Wed or Fri. It nicely preps the skin surface to receive serums, facial oils, or moisturizers.
THE SERUM YOU SHOULDN’T BE SCARED OF – Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (New Improved, Synchronized Recovery Complex II)
As stated by lovely skincare expert, Caroline Hirons’ via her blog here, the improved version of Estee Lauder’s NEW Advanced Night Repair is apparently a much better offering than its predecessor, right off the bat it contains way less silicone. “It is oil and fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, thus suitable for sensitive and acnaic skins…” and now it also contains a lot of good hyaluronic acid to plump up that pretty fez. I put 2 drops of it on at night after cleansing before my moisturizer (up next) and I don’t get any sting or itch with this and I wake up to a visibly “corrected” skin surface. I use it like twice or thrice a week.
THE MILKY MOISTURIZER – Kate Somerville Goat’s Milk Cream (for sensitive skin) $50+
When I first got this I thought this highly acclaimed moisturizer would be too rich for me, but when I started using less skincare in conjunction with it this product had room to shine (I don’t mean visually) on its own and it works beautifully applied minutes after my gentle Estee Lauder NEW Advanced Night Repair Serum before bed. It’s got a neutral milky scent and sinks in well overnight and I don’t wake up sticky. It does the job of coating your skin treatment really well.
The result of when I’ve just used all 4 of these products in sequence, which was last night, is today’s skin…what a joy. My face feels clean, hydrated, not sticky, and properly reset for the rest of the week, and for some reason I can’t feel a single whitehead or congested pore, even now that it’s 950PM, a long time already from last night my face still feels this way now, baby butt-ness.
This has been around for a couple of years now. It’s been generally labeled by the brand as an ultra light foundation and it’s been hailed by a healthy number of bloggers as the sheer, tinted moistie-ish (serious vocab butchery right here) luxury base that many of them return to when in doubt. It’s even been used a number of times for red carpet looks. Behold the unrivaled Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua.
“The tiniest drop of this new hybrid fluid creates a fresh, natural complexion. Skin looks refined and feels refreshed, creating an exquisite makeup experience. The fluid formula has a soft, water-light texture, and comes in 10 shades that match perfectly to skin’s undertones, whether pink or beige. Dermatologist-tested. Noncomedogenic. Oil- free.
Winner of Allure magazine’s ‘Best of Beauty’ award for Best Light Coverage Foundation, 2013.” – source: Nordstrom
The premium brand name apparently lays only partial claim on why it is well-loved. I see and know why now. I’ve been reaching for it constantly ever since I bought it in Duty Free HK for about $USD 51 on the way to New York last April. I totally get it now. CHANEL Vitalumiere Aqua truly has a special quality of its very own. It’s been reviewed nearly countless times online but who cares it certainly deserves a spot on my blog because of how much I use it, I think I’m going to run out soon. Read more for the full post.