After around 2 hours of shooting and 8 hours of editing (I had to relearn Adobe Premiere to get exactly what I wanted) here it is, my Christmas Beauty Gift Guide featuring some items I’ve blogged about and some that I haven’t mentioned yet. I really wanted to fit in so much more, like smaller stocking-filler (cheaper) items but the video stretched to 15 minutes simply because I talk too much and haven’t got the hang of this yet, but thanks to some painstaking editing I think I did a pretty good job. By the way, I forgot to include the shampoos in this photo…who cares, lol (that’s how tired I am lol). These are photos, the video is at the bottom.
The selection is mid-range to high-end with a few bargains thrown in. Still contemplating on whether I should do the equivalent of a stocking-filler video (cute, cheap buys). Don’t judge me if I’m ugly on a freeze-frame…hahaha, (yewwww, shakes finger) anyone would be. I’ve personally always felt, in all honesty, that I am more “photogenic” and “real-agenic” (lol) than “telegenic”…but anyway the video isn’t about me, it’s about the stuff I’m presenting. I made it 15 minutes long since I rarely do videos anyway. Next time I’ll learn from these gurus amidst YouTube on how to fit everything in under 10 minutes and still sound sane . Enjoy my Christmas Beauty Gift Guide Video 2013 at this link or watch it embedded below . By the way this doesn’t have a giveaway, but yes I am thinking up a one-winner Christmas giveaway for you guys…hopefully I can fit it in before delivery becomes too difficult to manage .
I’ve begun to realize I’m a bit of a scent whiz or have developed a nose. I don’t mean that I’ve memorized the identities of tons of fragrance notes or anything like that but when it comes to matching up fragrances or identifying that something smells a WHOLE LOT like something else, I’m your gal. Not sure how long this “skill” is going to hang around but I’m positively sure I’ve still got it coz I just discovered something wonderful. I’ve sniffed and found out that locally crafted Filipino soy candle brand Alice Blue (around since 2005, I was on Venus or perhaps Pluto…) have a candle that smells way too much like the Marc Jacobs’ Daisy fragrance, 2011′s summer sellout version Eau So Fresh to be exact. I proudly got it, it’s called “Palawan Mystique”.
Palawan Mystique Deluxe Candle| Php529.00 for 5 oz. hand-poured soy candle, candle holder Php199 | Proudly Philippine-Made Scents of the Underground River and ‘Last Frontier’ island. Fresh marine accord and rainforest with bergamot, orris, musk, boise de rose and amber.
Can I just say this, this is the most quickly fragrant candle I have at the moment, the others I own get fragrant as well (I still love the complexity and build of imported scents) but it takes a good 15-20 minutes before they do fill the room completely with fragrance. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s a soy candle base but this candle makes the room smell good faster, the catch from what I’ve observed is it burns down slightly faster too, but just slightly. Read more to get the full review, pricing, and tips on usage.
There’s an overflow of morning daylight shots on the blog, let’s balance it out a bit and go deeper. Chilly ‘Ber breezes have found their way home and I’ve found a value-for-money scented candle alternative to burn versus Diptyque candles. While I’ll never fully give up on owning Diptyque candles from time to time, Voluspa votive candles are more affordable luxury candles made in the U.S. but crafted with the same loving attention to detail, and they provide the same subtle but noticeable level of scent throw as Diptyque.
BLACK FIGUE & CHYPRE, 12Oz Classic MAISON NOIR Candle (Php2100, Dimensione) BURN – Approx. 85-90 hrs.
A breathtaking duo of currant and black fig blended into a heart of mysterious chypre…
It looks quite swag doesn’t it? It’s a 12 oz candle, it’s huge! Bigger than Diptyque’s Baies Noir candle for less! And I love how their label design is their own, very ornately classic, this Figue & Chypre one is from Voluspa’s MAISON NOIR collection which are either deep berry based, musky, or sweet and warm, perfect selections to burn in the evening during fall or a great accent to have in a bachelor pad. I plan to own one more when I make a trip back, I want a particular one from the MAISON BLANC collection (glass also looks like this but think white) which looks more dainty and feminine. The Voluspa MAISON BLANC collection comprises of scents that are, on the other end of the spectrum, fruity or floral and fresh…bright and perfect for a pre-springime or daytime burn come Jan and Feb.
To make my point quickly before rolling in the rest of the photos, let me do a price comparison between these sizes: Diptyque’s Baies Noir Candle 10.5 oz (Baies scent in black glass) costs Php3950 (converted from $90 on website), while this VOLUSPA 120z Black Figue & Chypre (& Currant) candle which smells almost EXACTLY THE SAME AS BAIES cost me Php2100 from Dimensione. That lower price for more at TWELVE Ounces, in an equally beautiful, tallish, ombre noir glass mug I can use for makeup brushes after. Another price comparison, by the way for the smaller candles…Diptyque travel size candle (2.4oz): Php1400+,VOLUSPA travel size candle (2.5-2.8oz): Php695! Do I have your attention now? Read more to get the full review and more photos.
Sick edits are having a bit of a moment worldwide I noticed, was surprised that shortly after Charlotte (Lipglossiping.com) put up a sick note to suddenly see Anna of Vivianna Does Makeup putting up a cold edit and I’m not intentionally jumping on the bandwagon either, I’ve just been really sick. I’m not surprised the western hemisphere are having their turn with the sniffles, imagine the temperature jump from summer to fall? That’s just crazy. This post deserves the biggest laugh ever, simply because Mom spotted the vegan brand “100% Pure” on her layover at the San Francisco Airport and did her motherly thing to ask me “Would you like anything from here? Look at their website 100percentpure.com“. I spotted the Eucalyptus (& Sake) Cold&Flu Vapor Bath, was intrigued by it and I wasn’t even sick when I asked for this. This request was made while she was away, and shortly after I was beset with the worst viral flu I have ever had, as in EVER remember experiencing and hope to never have again. What made it so terrible was the raging sore throat (which hurt all the way up to my ears), the high fever, and throbbing headaches which made me wake up 3-5 times a night. I was medicated and it was still almost unbearable. Mom arrives from her trip with this magic bottle in tow on the day before my fever breaks (hear Alanis singing?) and so I don’t get to use it while I’m fully sick, but I am still coughing and recovering so now will have to do. Let me tell you, I haven’t fully submerged in this stuff yet but I just sink tested this baby in our guest bathroom to check its vapor potency (sink half full + 1 teaspoon of this) and whoa…let me say that again WHOA…
APPLICATION: Shake and add 1 TABLESPOON in a tub of warm to hand hot water, whichever suits you. Stir in with your hand.
(My hot lips mueller compress bag is by Ice It Up at True Value)
Three ingredients! That makes for a possible future DIY project I’m certainly keen to try. What you’re seeing is a bi-phase Eucalyptus Oil and Sake formulation, you shake it up and just one tablespoon added to hand hot bath water is enough to set up those crotchety lungs for some much needed purging. I love that Sake is one of the base components of this, not everyone knows but premier skincare brand SK-II is formulated from sake derived extracts. They developed SK-II after some people noticed the youthful hands of the old women working at a sake brewery. Sake or Rice Wine has some anti-aging and of course cleansing properties. Of course do NOT get this into your eyes while in the bath, whatever you do don’t put your whole head under once this is in your bath, just keep your head above the surface and allow the vapor to float up. Putting just under 1 teaspoon into water in our guest bathroom sink has now made it smell like a hotel spa and you don’t just get a pleasant smell. That nippy eucalyptus vapor zips right up your nostrils and it feels like it opens up your lungs. It is overwhelmingly therapeutic for such a small amount. What we’ve also now done to keep the aroma going in the restroom is we hid a mug of boiled hot water in the corner and put half a teaspoon of this stuff into that, but even before we did, after I had sent the water down the drain in the sink the smell strongly lingered. I put my arm into the sink to test how this would smell on the skin after. The aroma in the vapor is different than the aroma left on the skin and that makes this product a winner for me, there’s a very, very light fresh scent left on the skin that isn’t Eucalyptus, partly sake and partly the limonene component I think. A sensitivity note for some perhaps, not everyone reacts well to essential oils so better if you test a product like this on your hands and arms first in the sink like I did. What I love about Eucalyptus is you get a more refreshing similar sort of medicinal aromatherapy to camphor oil without smelling too ancient? Haha, how do I say that without offending mature readers…hey I’ll admit I still love my Efficascent Oil, I still apply that on myself during my lola moments when I’m tired or feel nauseous. Eucalyptus as a room scent is fresher and more uplifting than camphor in my opinion. 100% Pure isn’t a brand that’s available locally but I do know a lot of you have relatives in California or the Bay Area. This is so worth the money, unless maybe you’d like to try making your own DIY Eucalyptus bath . This is such a comforting product! I can’t wait to take a full dip in it tonight, thanks, Mom! This is actually a more affordable version of something like Aromatherapy Associates Support Peppermint & Lavender Bath Oil…if you haven’t checked out the brand 100% Pure in SFO Dutyfree or direct from their website you certainly should.
It’s been awhile but the brand remains close to my heart. When the ‘Ber months come rolling around, my early readers know I eventually muse about the small U.S. venture that is Haus of Gloiagain since their Holiday ranges are among the most sought after in seasonal vegan bath & body concoctions. The endearing revelation is that it’s a vegan couple behind all this, Briton designs the scents and makes everything…and Matt packs and ships everything. What I’ve been drawn to is late and out of season, since “Something Hopeful” is from their Valentine collection, but in case you’re one of my new readers (and I’ve noticed there are several of you) you may have not heard me gush about this brand before.
“Perhaps the first stirrings of the spring to come. Warm sakura blossom green tea with the tiniest droplet of plum juice, red mandarin and crystallized jasmine essence.”
Briton’s thoughtfully written scent descriptions help land purchases every time.
Something Hopeful Bubbling Scrub is a creamy, fruity, Asian floral. The bubbling scrubs are exfoliating pasty wonders which lather up gently when you work it into wet skin and they undoubtedly transform bath or shower moments into a luxuriously fragrant event. Read on and click “more” to get the full review.