The use of oil in the realm of beautifying dates back to ancient times. The first perfumes and fragrances did not contain alcohol but were pure pressed essential oils and before there were souffle creams you could massage into your skin there were balms and ointments.
L-R: Moringa O2 Malunggay Therapy Oil, Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate facial oil,Benefit Bathina Body Oil, Delon Coconut Oil Hair Treatment, Aromatherapy Associates Support Breathe Essence,
Oil is the purest concentrated essence that comes from certain natural origin. Oil products are more highly appreciated in cold, dry countries for their ability to lock in moisture and retain softness in both hair and body. What I’ve also discovered is the right facial oil also has the ability to calm down irritation and rebalance skin. These are five of my favorite oils of the moment that each cater in a different way. Read more to get my quick reviews on these 5 and prices, plus a quick Bible fact about oils and beauty!
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 was way, way excited to be invited for the first time to the LUSH Christmas 2013 product launch. If any of you have read my LUSH cosmetics posts from last year, you’ll know that these UK vegan handmade cosmetics (mainly bath and body) are most enticing around the Holiday season. To really get the most out of their stuff though you’ve got to have a tub, a well-loved inflatable kiddie pool (these excite kids, seriously), or try to gatecrash someone else’s 5-star hotel visit just to use their tub. Their playful fragrant creations never cease to put smiles on people’s faces. With shapes that are delightfully and colorfully crude rather than overtly refined, many LUSH products capture that multi-colored childlike wonder which tends to float in and about during Christmas.
What’s nice about this year is they’ve brought back the Christmas releases from last year in addition to the added new Holiday items. Some of the new ballistics include Lord of Misrule (Green) Php275, Secret Santa Php395 (pink and orange house), Bombardino Php195 (not in photo), Shoot for the Stars Php245 (blue)…and example of an old one I like that’s back is Golden Wonder Php275 (yellow gift box). Not included in photos is the CELEBRATE Body Cream Php995 which is a new release locally and limited edition for Christmas, it was originally only sold in Japan, if you like the scent of Golden Wonder ballistic the Celebrate Body Cream has the same scent.
Retail Manager for Hong Kong, Japan and the rest of Asia, Annabelle Baker, shares the story of the new Secret Santa ballistic (bath bomb) which breaks into 3 pieces (2 parts of the house and a Santa) so you can have 3 baths using it. It was created by a LUSH Colleague as a present for his/her Secret Santa and is a replica of the very first LUSH store. LUSH thought it was so clever they decided to include it in their Holiday Collection. It smells of sandalwood and lime.
There were so many lovely activities set up for us, even a hand massage corner where we could have massages on both hands! Read more to see what else we did and see some more products.
Okay, here we go, a review of something Mom brought home. I chose to talk about this for now because there’s not too much global hype or flamboyance attached to this, it’s one of those emo-less, no-frill products that just works and supplies helpful hydration with hyaluronic acid, the now famous acid known for holding 10,000 times its weight in water. Hydrating my face keeps my allergies away, even in a humid country that does the job for me. You can tell just by looking at this that you have to try it to know what it’s about. It’s the sort of brand you perceive might have been around for ages, but Japanese brand Hada Labo (check out the SG website here which I feel is the best one)was only launched in 2004 and since then has become one of Japan’s drugstore skincare market leaders with effective, fragrance-free products that fly off the shelves every few seconds. Hada Labo began as a joint venture between US research company Mentholatum and Rohto, the brand may be relatively young but both those companies have been around for over 100 years. Mom brought their Hyaluronic Gokujyun Lotion (LIGHT version) home for me a few days ago from the Japan drugstore giant Matsumoto Kiyoshi. I asked for the LIGHT version because of my sensitive skin and it being the less heavy, less tacky/dewy take on the original formula. I’ve also embedded the TV commercial of the MOIST original formula below, some of the digital effects are quite exaggerated (the TVC made me giggle because I used to work in digital effects for TVCs) but it gets the message across in a playful way and the product does work. The mood of the brand speaks of simple, minimal, affordable yet effective ph-balanced skincare.
“While it looks clear like a toner or makeup remover, it’s actually a moisturizer that helps prepare your skin for better absorption of other HADA LABO products. The HADA LABO Goku-jyun Lotion Light can also be used as a standalone moisturizer with a lighter texture than HADA LABO Goku-jyun Lotion. You can choose HADA LABO Goku-jyun Lotion or Light Lotion, depending on your preference. (5.7 fl oz/170 mL)”- HADA LABO USA
JAPANESE SRP: ¥1,260 (reference online but from 2009) /under Php600- Php700 for 170ml bottle
The reason why I requested this in particular is because my online “skin twin” (same skin type and same skin tone), as I’d like to say it, is London-based Japanese blogger Yasumi aka “Fushigi Lady/Worship Blues” and she likes and trusts this Hada Labo Gokujyun hydration lotion (she uses MOIST, not LIGHT) over any other, even Hydraluron which she’s tried. Yasumi, the blogger behind Worshipblues.com, blogs about simple but pretty lifestyle delights from homecooked meals, noodle soup finds, the whispers of run-down buildings, and even stuff from fashion to random beauty raves. It was she who recommended the Pai Rosehip Facial Oil that works for me. That is the only facial oil I use 2x a week to calm down my skin overnight, the effect on me by that was exactly how she described the effect on her to be, so I trust her. Read more to read my thoughts on this and see the instructional video.
There’s a reason why a bottle of this sells every 12 seconds in Japan, gee, it was even handpicked to be Oscar Swag! I’ve had this for months and haven’t opened it because seriously, when it comes to skincare I really TRY (note TRY) to go through current products before opening something new…with as much self-control as I can muster that’s what I do. Unknown to some people Toyo Life’s Cure Natural Aqua Gel was actually included in the Oscar Swag Bag (the loot bag they give to Academy Awards attendees) a few years back (2009-ish? 2010-ish?) and that gave this a little more popularity in the Western Hemisphere. Why exactly is this gommage-y gel sooo popular? Think of something that appears and feels as gentle as Cetaphil, is fragrance-free, is made of more than 90% water, but removes dead skin (without acidic or grainy sting) before your very eyes. Yup that’s exactly what this pure baby does. If you’re picky about exfoliants and don’t want scrubs and ALSO are hesitant to try AHA or BHA acidic liquid exfoliants because of sensitive skin this one is perfect for you and there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Best selling exfoliator in Japan
Free from preservatives, fragrance, artificial coloring or alcohol
Contains 90% revitalized hydrogen water
Contains natural plant extracts from aloe vera, gingko, and rosemary
Was reportedly included in the famous OSCAR Swag Bag a few years back
SIZE: large 250 ml bottle (lasts 4 mos. if used 2x a week), PRICE: Php1500.00 from Beauty Bar PH
INGREDIENTS: water (activated hydrogen water, non-acidic and purified), glycerin (a moisturiser), acrylates/C10-30, alkyl acrylate crosspolymer (a thickener), dicocodimonium (a conditioner), chloride, steartrimonium bromide, aloe barbadensis leaf extract (moisturises, protects rough skin), gingko biloba extract (moisturises, prevents skin-mottling and freckles), rosmarinus officinalis/rosemary leaf extract (possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties), butylene glycol.
This works and is very gentle, you only need about half a pump or a peso sized dollop. The Cure product IS AN EXFOLIANT, NOT A CLEANSER, AND NOT MEANT TO BE USED DAILY, ONLY TWICE A WEEK. The key ingredient I believe is the gentle thickening agent which causes dry skin to plump up, then the hydrating gel makes it easier to remove gently when you massage your face in circular motions (don’t apply this near the eyes to be safe). To prove a point you can see the eyeliner on my hand, this exfoliates but does not remove makeup so you must remove makeup before using this. Watch this Japanese advertisement for CURE that’s been subtitled in English.
I’ve tried something similar before, that Hello Kitty Rosette gommage one which was also from Japan, but I found out that the bits I was seeing from that one was partly just the product itself just bundling up into bits and eventually I didn’t like the fragrance. THIS ONE, however, is fragrance-free and I can really feel my dead skin gently being sloughed off the surface and I know it’s really happening because of how baby smooth my face feels after (treatments like this in my opinion are best used at night and best if followed by a gentle facial oil or hydrating serum). Read more to find out about my second use for this product and learn about the three main types of exfoliants available in the market.