I have a new goodie from The Body Shop but before I get to that I need to backtrack a bit. When I personally experienced the Emma Hardie cleansing balm nearly every UK skincare enthusiast was raving about last year my complaint was in our tropical weather the balm just wouldn’t hold its consistency. You had to keep it refrigerated and to be honest unless you had warm running tap water (which not everyone does here) it wouldn’t emulsify super well and just flanneling it off with a damp face towel without rinsing is a total turn-off for overt rinse maniacs like us Filipinas. It made my skin feel great though and I agreed that natural cleansing oils or balms were the way forward in facial skincare especially for people like me who do have lazy nights where I just want to take my made-up face off and cleanse with one product. I still like my Andalou Apricot Pro Biotic Cream Cleanser but that doesn’t remove makeup. I was hoping for a less expensive alternative that 1. Acted like a cleansing balm but didn’t come in a jar 2. Be mostly based on natural, fairly sourced ingredients without mineral oil, and 3. Retain its consistency locally. I got my checklist ticked off when I found Body Shop’s Nutriganics Softening Cleansing Gel Oil which contains fair trade Babassu oil extracted from the nuts of the wild babassu palm tree, found on the outskirts of the Amazon rainforest….and by the way,yes, it does emulsify with water, very well.
Contains Fair Trade Babassu Oil, 99% of Total Ingredients are from natural origin, 45% of ingredients are from organic farming, natural and organic certified by ECOCERT, NO PARABENS and NO SILICONES
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil , Aqua (Solvent/Diluent), Glycerin, Sucrose Laurate , Sucrose Palmitate, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Salicylic Acid, Limonene, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Citral, Linalool , Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil , Citronellol , Arginine, Buddleja Davidii Extract , Thymus Vulgaris Extract, Malva Sylvestris Flower Extract, Foeniculum Vulgare Oil, Citrus Nobilis Peel Oil, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil, Sodium Benzoate, Thymus Vulgaris Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil.
Price: about Php795 for 100ml at Body Shop boutiques
HOW TO USE: Apply a pea sized amount to dry makeup-free skin, or a peso coin sized amount if you have makeup on. Yes, don’t wet your face first or else it will emulsify instantly, when that happens you miss out on the oil treatment which removes makeup while treating skin and provides the opportunity for a good facial massage.
When you’ve spread the product all over your face and have the oil consistency on, a circular facial massage is highly recommended before rinsing to remove makeup, dead skin and dirt. Then apply water to the face to have it emusify, do circular motions again to properly cleanse and rinse. Repeat if necessary.
What I like about this product is for a mid-ranged price you’re getting something that is well sourced, nearly 100% organic and on lazy nights it moves makeup when you massage it in and yes really does feel like an oil-based cleanser or balm that you can store well even in a tropical climate since it comes in a tube. On the nights when I do have the energy to use makeup remover first and then finish with this I get an exceptionally thorough cleansing experience. It’s just good to know something like this also has your back on lazy days if you want to skip makeup remover. You can also try Lisa Eldridge’s facial massage routine before rinsing with water, you don’t have to do the whole 20mins, you can cut it down if you like.
I also have a bonus favorite for this post, the only drawback for me on it is it’s highly scented, it didn’t break me out but I would prefer it unscented. From the Body Shop as well I also like this Vitamin Aqua Boost Sorbet cooling facial moisturizer with Vitamin E and Soybean Oil.
24-Hour moisture quench, aqua light texture
The cooling effect isn’t weird, not like menthol at all, it feels very fresh, sort of like the comfort that after sun products provide on the skin. It hydrates the way Clinique’s Moisture Surge gel moisturizer seems to do and with a zero greasy feel and matte finish. It does contain some silicone but that makes it a great thin moisturizer beneath makeup because it also acts as a primer. Most likely great for girls with normal to oily skin…though I would recommend patch testing it on an area of the face for the day from the Body Shop boutique first before purchasing since it is scented, just to be sure you don’t react. If you don’t it’s a good one to have if you’re not into greasy or cream moisturizers. It comes in a frosted glass jar at 50ml. Err, I’m forgetting the price at the moment but I think it was around Php1200 or a bit more. Yes a bit pricy, I think the packaging has something to do with that.
I’m glad The Body Shop has ventured out with their Nutriganics range for example to bring us fairly sourced more natural skincare options, and I also like that they’re developing new formulas and textures in skincare like with the Aqua Boost sorbet. Stop by your nearest Body Shop boutique at anytime to spot the new items they have to offer, I didn’t think they’d stepped up in many ways and offered many new things beyond their usual until I dropped in for a proper visit.
The beautysphere is buzzing with the arrival of Bioderma in Manila soon at Watsons. Makeup artists hoard their famous Sensibio Crealine micellar water for makup removal but the French Pharmacy range actually has an entire range of skincare for varying skin types. You know, a huge makeup post was supposed to go up, and it will perhaps tonight, but I decided to put this in the lead for today due to a lasting, immediate first impression I got from something I received…given the weather change and my skin kind of being here and there in terms of condition. I just received my Bioderma French skincare items yesterday from their launch and I used this Cicabio Cream of theirs (suitable for adults, children, and babies) which is sort of supposed to be a targeted repair treatment for tender, irritated skin. I went beyond the suggested use and decided to apply it before bed like a light moisturizer to see what it would do. Amazingly enough, without the aid of a serum or treatment oil, this did nothing short of help fix and rebalance my entire face in just one night! And yes, it is fragrance-free…
Properties: Fragrance-free formula. Colorant-free. The beige colouring is natural and comes from the active ingredients. Prevents the bacterial proliferation, hypoallergenic. The first repair care for damaged, irritated, non-oozing skin that accompanies every stage of epidermal reconstruction.
• Cicabio Crème targets every stage of skin reconstruction to promote perfectly restored skin.
• The synergetic combination of Resveratrol and Copper promotes high-quality skin regeneration.
• The Copper-Zinc complex prevents bacterial proliferation.
• Hyaluronic acid, a major skin component recognised for its regenerating capacity, provides optimal moisturising.
• Cicabio Crème’s Antalgicine® Complex, a BIODERMA innovation, rapidly relieves the sensation of discomfort and reduces the urge to scratch.
• The patented natural D.A.F. complex (Dermatological Advanced Formulation) increases the skin’s tolerance threshold.
WATER (AQUA), GLYCERIN, ETHYLHEXYL PALMITATE, FRUCTOOLIGOSACCHARIDES, ZINC OXIDE, OCTYLDECANOL, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, POLYACRYLAMIDE, MANNITOL, XYLITOL, RHAMNOSE, LAMINARIA OCHROLEUCA EXTRACT, COPPER SULFATE, ZINC SULFATE, SODIUM HYALURONATE, VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) VINE EXTRACT, ASIATICO-SIDE, ASIATIC ACID, MADECASSIC ACID, C13-14 ISOPARAFFIN, OCTYLDODECYL XYLOSIDE, PEG-30 DIPOLYHYDROXYSTEARATE, CAPRYLIC / CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, LAURETH-7, LAURETH-3, HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE,ACETYL DIPEPTIDE-1 CETYL ESTER.
40 ml tube PRICE: PHP915.20 (from select dermatological clinics and soon (within this month probably) from major Metro Manila SM Watsons retail outlets (SM Megamall, SM Southmall, SM North Edsa, SM Aura, SM Makati, SM Mall of Asia). Price abroad is about $16.95 USD.
Bioderma Cicabiois really a NEW repairing range. The Cicabio Cream contains hyaluronic acid, grapevine extract, and the active ingredient Antalgicine® which helps soothe any itch or irritation. It was originally purposed for minor skin damage (after sunburn or a skincare reaction), irritation/inflammatory breakouts, or as skin aftercare following intense dermatological or laser treatments. While I wouldn’t specifically recommend it for daily use like a regular moisturizer on your entire face (though it is gentle enough because it was also developed for babies) I would if your skin happens to be having a bad spell and needs a reboot. I recommend applying this before bed and if you’re sensitive only apply to affected irritated areas (best to show it first to your derma if you are unsure)…usage 2-3x a week maybe.
If some of you have been itching (pun unintended) to try skincare like Hada Labo, Embryolisse, or Oilatum Natural Repair (made popular by Pixiwoo’s Nic Chapman) I’ll tell you now that with Bioderma Cicabio cream it’s like someone took all 3 of those products, took the best parts about them, and made them work together in one gentle product with its own highly researched and tested formula. If you’ve been wanting to try a moisturizer or cream that compares with Embryolisse (but is fragrance-free) try this, it’s less rich on the skin and doesn’t leave a greasy finish. The price is quite reasonable for a 40ml tube as long as you use it only twice to thrice a week before bed. I really wouldn’t use it everyday because of a couple of active ingredients. It’s a bit too rich to slap on in the morning as a day cream but leaves my skin feeling awesome the next morning when used overnight. I’d also be inclined to use this in the crook of my arm and behind my knees where my eczema patches tend to flare up once in awhile. Watch out for this at the Watsons stores I mentioned above, it should be available I’m guessing mid or late October and retails at Php915.20.
Goodness in beauty just got exciting. Do we ever find terrific budget dupes in the skincare department? Dupes in skincare of course have nothing to do with “payoff” or “finish” and more to do with the overall effect on your skin whether instant or over time. The question arises, is your skin left feeling the same wonderful way or in the same good condition as when you use the more expensive product you originally liked? I’ve praised the Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate oil several times over the last year and a half. That Pai oil was one of the skincare products I tried that delivered a difference OVERNIGHT when I mixed just a few drops with my moisturizer, relieving irritation and rebalancing my skin back to it’s supple self. But gosh it’s pricy and hard to source from the UK or Singapore. I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I prefer naturally sourced facial oils to serums for treating and nourishing my sensitive skin. My mother came home with a treat from Human Nature last night and my eyes widened, and as far as I can tell it’s the newest birth from their product range. Say hello to Human Nature’s Pure 100% Natural Rosehip Oil. Say hello to it for Php695.00, for a high grade treatment oil that isn’t bad. Human Nature claims it’s actually a multi-purpose treatment oil that can be used on any area of skin that needs healing or rebalancing. I wouldn’t even hesitate to try it on chapped lips or for ultra specific cases like soothing the browbone or upper lip area after you’ve waxed, shaved, or tweezed even. Mainly, however I prefer to use it to treat my whole face. Yup, you bet this went straight onto my face last night, two drops with my moisturizer.
INGREDIENT: 100% Natura Pure Rosehip Oil
“Step into the light with a new chapter of healing with Human Nature’s 100% natural, pure, premium grade Rosehip Oil. Cold-processed from top-quality rosehip fruit hand-picked and ripened to perfection, each potent drop is rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids that help improve skin elasticity, assist in skin regeneration, and reduce uneven pigmentation.
- Vitamin A and Beta Carotene help improve the turnover of skin cells
- 80% Fatty Acids (Omega 3, 6, 9) assists in regenerating and rebuilding the skin
- Vitamin C helps brighten the appearance of skin
Bridge skin recovery to radiant rebirth and let clearer, younger-looking skin spring forth.”
Pure is potent, that’s for certain. First, let me say, hats off to the gorgeous packaging, hello?! It’s a dainty glass bottle which suggests that Tarte’s Maracuja Oil (same push dropper) and Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair eloped and had a beautiful budget baby…no, really LOOK! Even the box looks nice in photos. Did I mention the Heaven-sent fact that the product is fragrance free? I love how like a handful of us who have our ears to the ground are really starting to GET IT, what we actually need to be better in the local beauty industry. Look at me being all Michael Bay-ish with my flares. You’d think next up some Human Nature products were going to walk out hero style in slow motion to save the world.
The consistency of the oil is less dense that that of the Pai Rosehip Oil and more like Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate in liquid form. I put two drops into my moisturizer and slept overnight with it and woke up to rebalanced better skin. There was a small skin issue that felt instantly relieved by my use of this. Recently I’ve been having a bit of a problem with a small area on the right side of my face, a case of some ingrown hair near my jaw and ear causing pore inflammation or premature zits, the medical term being mild folliculitis which is an inflammation of some of the hair follicles near the sideburns by my right ear. My mistake was I kept trying to pick and pull in that area, or tried to tweeze the hair, but the problem would resurface. I was told recently by a dermatologist at an event that regular glycolic exfoliation helps prevent this (which of course I wasn’t doing). When I put two drops of this Rosehip oil with my moisturizer in one night the inflammation or irritation of the pores in that area=was reduced by half and is already better.
Tonight I actually want to try applying this purely and directly on the affected area without my moisturizer and see if this helps heal it more quickly over the next week. Overall just like the effect I get with the Pai Rosehip Oil my skin feels nourished and rebalanced and what I like is there’s no greasy feel in the morning when I wake up. I’m so happy I’ve found a local facial oil alternative it ticks all the boxes that matter AND it’s proudly Pinoy! You can purchase Human Nature’s Pure Rosehip Oil for Php695.00 from their online site shop here or check out Human Nature at their retail outlets, find a store near you from this list.
If you liked Happy Skin cosmetics’ Ss Second Skin cream which boasted of its smoothly effective silicone-free formula as a wearable everyday base, then get ready for this! Introducing their new Zz Zit Zapper Cream which is basically the Ss Cream but sheerer and with the power of Grapefruit antioxidants and skin brightening ingredients. The Happy Skin team has never ceased to amaze me thus far with their awesome new products and they just keep rolling prettily with the punches. Congrats Gals, you’ve come out with yet another good one!
“This non-silicone foundation does not clog pores and is infused with Grapefruit Extract. Rich in antioxidants, grapefruit is touted as the new skin care secret. It effectively prevents skin acne and sebum oxidation, the trigger that starts pimples. It keeps troubled skin soft & supple, too. Wonder food Yoghurt Extract treats and minimizes the growth of acne bumps & plugs, and also serves as a skin brightener helping lighten scars & blemishes. Licorice Stem & Root Extracts act as anti-irritants that help reduce redness & irritation, thanks to their anti-inflammatory and skin soothing properties. Salicylic Acid helps exfoliate pores and eliminate the clogging residue that causes breakouts. This contains SPF 20 PA++ and is suitable for all skin types especially blemished skin.” Php1299 at Beauty Bar, Plains and Prints, and Rustan’s – HappySkinCosmetics.com #happyskinbeauty
One thing that came to mind when I saw this new Zz Cream release at a private bloggers’ launch last week was the ever popular Origins’ VitaZing, remember how popular that daytime base was about a year and a half ago? It’s still an old favorite of many US and UK beauty enthusiasts till now. It was the product to throw on when in doubt or on a lazy day. Origins’ VitaZing was mainly a moisturizer with barely there coverage and it improved the complexion by depositing a complexion lifting radiant sheen while treating the skin as you can see in this photo example here. Well, Happy Skin’s Zz cream is similar. It provides more coverage than VitaZing while also encouraging the development of brighter healthier skin, this formula is also better for oily skin since it’s oil-free and has some controlling properties. While the Zz Cream claims to help treat and protect troubled oily skin it is still safe and suitable for all skin types, including sensitive types like mine. Here’s a before and after shot.
In these shots I’m wearing no base makeup at all and then in the after shot I applied the Zz cream evenly over my face and neck just with my hands and put on their classic lippie in “Crushing on You”. I think the whole Origins VitaZing craze sort of explains to me why Happy Skin’s Zz cream has come out only in one shade. It’s not mainly supposed to be a makeup base range as much as it is a complexion boosting treatment with coverage for skin that needs more fight to it against skin evil and pollutants.
If you feel that the universal shade is still slightly too light for your own skintone even if it’s sheer my tip is to balance it out by setting it on top with your own shade of pressed powder to help balance the color and make it your own. Happy Skin products are available at Beauty Bar, Rustan’s, and Plains and Prints outlets. Follow Happy Skin on Instagram @happyskin_PH and post your happy skin experiences using the hashtag #happyskinbeauty
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.