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.
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.
Yesterday’s morning walk…
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.
Prayers on paper…
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.
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.
“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.
I have been wearing practically no other mascara than this (with an exception on 2 or 3 days) since I returned from Boracay last May 4. When you rekindle sentiment with an old favorite that is just as reliable as this one and have been receiving compliments every single time you have it on you just have to write about it again. Since 2010 I have raved about Majolica Majorca’s mascaras, a Shiseido daughter brand for the Japanese drugstore market which is available at SM Beauty floors and select Watsons branches. Mom and I were fans of the Lash Expander Frame WP Mascara for the longest time but they stopped importing that one or phased it out and the next best one that’s most similar (practically the same or just renamed) is their Lash Expander Edge Meister Mascara (Waterproof pink, make sure it’s the one with pink butterflies on it, the green one is non-waterproof and won’t hold curl at all). Mom said it’s the same quality as the one we used to get but she noticed she got more believable length on it which she loves, I noticed the same thing.
Nothing in my opinion beats Majolicas waterproof lengthening fiber mascaras, you will simply never smudge unless you apply an oil based product on your lashes. So some people don’t like this mascara because of how hard it is to remove and because they don’t know how to curl their lashes properly to get the optimum result which would be this. I wore this while swimming in Boracay. If you have an oil cleanser or bi-phase makeup remover, just a bit more effort is needed to remove this, be gentle when you do.
If you put some effort into that curl before applying this…lashes just become gorgeous, and if you build this up you can make your eyes look like you’ve got false lashes on. Basically, a proper fiber mascara will make you look like you have lashes if you barely have any and will give the appearance of more lashes if you naturally have an average amount.
My mom prefers no other mascara because it never smudges and holds the lash curl you tried with all your dearest dexterity to achieve. I use this mascara on brides almost every time because no matter how much they may cry it stays put and it adds length. I sometimes use a different mascara if I want something less heavy duty, but if I want something super reliable and resistant to heat, sweat, and humidity I only use this! Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Edgemeister Waterproof (whew) Mascara is available at select SM Beauty Floors and Watsons outlets for about Php750 or Php850? Sorry I haven’t checked if they’ve updated the price but last I checked it was between that range. Make sure that if you want the waterproof one that you get the one with pink butterflies on it, not green.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 :).
Zoella raved about these, Lily Pebbles did the same, and NikkieTutorials, a PRO makeup artist and YouTuber didn’t hesitate to say that they were better overall in her opinion than Sigma brushes or MAC brushes (most likely in the context of value for money). I was almost tempted to say they were like Europe’s answer to Sigma brushes, but when Zoeva Cosmetics sent me my own Luxe Complete Brush Set to review, I changed my mind. They look and feel better and quality looks more consistent across. With Zoeva $60-$80 USD goes a long way, you can get already get a budget set. The set I was sent though is about EUR105 because it’s a larger range with 15 brushes. Plus you know the well-known habit of German made things lasting longer than your lifetime? Throw that knowledge together with the look of this professional brush range and you’ve certainly got yourself a major contender in terms of performance in application. No I haven’t tried them with products just yet but already just by their appearance, feel, and my professional experience I already know they’ll do excellently on the job.
An exquisite selection of 15 of our finest brushes, made from a custom blend of natural and synthetic bristles. EUR105
As a blogger, a few months back I actually browsed through the Zoeva site since the brush sets were gaining sparkling reviews at an amazing rate following the brand’s debut across several YouTube channels. It was there that I saw a “blogger” related tab and saw that you could actually propose that they send you stuff to review if they screen your blog, stats, and approve the quality of your site. My site and traffic stats were screened and I was told that I qualified after a month and that they would send me the products of my choice after another month. I may have a second post on this set feature a look where I actually use all the brushes. Read more to have a closer look at my favorite brushes from the set and see one separate brush I also chose for them to send me because it was necessary.
When I arrived at the Happy Skin Cosmetics summer launch yesterday high above the city at 71 Gramercy I could hardly believe that practically everything I saw there excited me to pieces.
Happy Skin makes this your happiest and hottest summer! The Happy Skin limited edition Turn Up The Heat Summer 2014 Collection features three (3) new sizzling shades of their bestselling lippie and two (2) new summer hues of blushes that deliver the same promise of a natural flush as their original blushes.
It’s pretty much like Happy Skin has expanded to become for us what Bourjois is for the UK beauty lovers, a solid, mid-range beauty range with products that delight as well as deliver. The news is that with the moisturizing lippies alone in terms of volume sales they are selling at a rate of 100 lippies a day! Happy Skin has launched their 2014 limited edition summer makeup collection which includes 3 lippie shades (that you can buy individually or as a better value box set) and 2 blush shades. Read more to see the rest of the post, Happy Skin’s local answer to Bioderma, and more new stuff now available in stores by the brand!