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.
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.
And finally, what has been a mystery for too long a time isn’t just who the giveaway winner is, but it also happens to be what prizes are in store for my blessed NYC giveaway winner :) I’d like to congratulate CHE (email@example.com) for you have won these lovely beauty “pasalubong” items from New York City! I will for sure have sent you an email requesting for your shipping and contact details minutes after this post goes up. The La Roche Posay Serozinc toner spray is actually a bonus item I threw in because a friend gave me two which came not from NYC, but from Europe :D So I thought whoever the winner was would love that since it is also a Caroline Hirons recommendation (the Pixiwoo sisters spray it on in this video interview with skincare expert Caroline). Serozinc Zinc-Sulfate Spray toner for the face helps prevent breakouts and speed up the healing process of existing zits, it also preps the face well for moisturizer. A list of all the prizes I’ve picked is provided below.
THE PRIZES FOR THE WINNER! – First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Polish (Exfoliator), Maybelline Full ‘N Soft Mascara Waterproof (my favorite easy-wear mascara), Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer (Particularly for dark undereye circles, the shade I got was a MAC NC25-30 match, darker shades were often out of stock or tricky to spot), La Roche Posay Serozinc (Zinc Sulfate Spray Solution), Mario Badescu Oil Free Moisturizer, Mario Badescu Fruit and Vitamin Hand cream sample, Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm primer sample.
Thanks to all you girls who joined my “Guess Where I’m Going Giveaway” last month, I was actually in New York City (see this post here) with my cousin and we met up with some friends and had a wonderful time there. Japan isn’t the only place with cherry blossoms in the springtime by the way! Cherry blossom trees were blooming in so many places in New York City especially in Central Park and West Village :). So remember if you want to see cherry blossoms in the springtime, Japan isn’t the only destination to consider :).
What you’re seeing is a “repurchase”. I had one of these Clinique Airbrush Pen Concealers a few months back and used it up way too quickly before I could review it because I used it almost every time I went out for 2 months. I was born with dark circles. Seriously, I must’ve had some late nights in mom’s womb or something because as far back as I can remember they showed up in photos regardless of whether I slept well or not. I also hated that people were always asking if I slept well or if I needed to rest when I was completely fine. I thought I was being led on yet again only because of Lisa Eldridge’s magic and her pleasant product pushing hypnosis, but in fairness to her so far not one of her recommendations have ever disappointed. Now I totally get why she prefers THIS PARTICULAR ONE by Clinique compared to dozens of pen concealer/highlighters out there. The concealing formula truly has some heft and coverage, not just micro luminosity. It does work using some light reflection but not the sort using shimmer that gives ugly flashback in photos. In short it’s got a level of acceptable “flashback” that you need.
If I’m not mistaken the current retail price from local Clinique counters is Php1050 or Php1150. The only con with this is locally (why again!!? in NYC they have 4 shades up to a really deep one) they only sell one shade Light 03 which would match of course me, a MAC NC30 girl (a yellow toned fair to medium shade). Don’t let them sell it to you saying “it’s universal”. Don’t ever accept that sort of “universal shade” sales talk when it comes to concealers and foundations unless it’s a chemically adjusting formula. If it’s not your shade it is simply not your shade. I guess the closest product with many shades that has a similar thin liquid formula for covering dark circles (no light reflection perk though) in a non-cake-y way is MAC Pro Longwear concealer. I hate the packaging of the MAC one though, the small pump which gives too much, if that product was in pen form it would be perfect and similar to this, so Clinique wins over that because of packaging for me, and because the only shade they sell here is my shade, thankfully. I got my second one with some saved up Rustan’s GCs. The product comes through from a brush tip on top after you twist and click at the bottom. It takes awhile for the product to come out when you first open it, but once it comes through it dispenses a bit more steadily with each twist. Read more to see my before and after shots plus a photo taken several months back with flash at a music gig I attended.