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Antipodes Arrives in Manila | Get Middle-Earth On Your Skin

I first spied cruelty-free naturals brand Antipodes on Estée’s essiebutton channel.  She was genuinely smitten by the scent and benefits of their Vanilla Pod Day Cream.  I never ever thought I’d get a local opportunity to review botanically potent Antipodes natural cosmetics from New Zealand, but I’m ever so glad I thought wrong thanks to a lovely referral to its local distributors.  In regular and online retail, a great local team called Wellness Connect NZ has brought Antipodes in through their store in SM North Edsa, they also have a Wellness Connect NZ Facebook page.  A little bird told me this might also soon be available via Glamourbox.  

 

The New Zealand borne range has won a number of awards, multiple times, particularly for advanced research in cosmetic blends with the use of natural ingredients. Plus, just when you thought it couldn’t get more ideal the product names are somewhat spiritually themed, (words like “Worship”, “Hallelujah”, “Hosanna”, “Rejoice!”, “Joyful” and even “Apostle” are worn by some best-sellers), they sport green labels in apothecary packaging which echoes Aesop, and hail literally from “Middle Earth”. Swish and stare. Legolas just did a hair flip.    Click through to the full post to learn more, read my first impressions, and get access to direct local retail links.


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Beauty Blogging with Class | Julia’s 5-Year old blogging Wisdom

Once upon a blog there lived a girl who unknowingly stepped into the world of beauty blogging.  After her first post on Lanolips and being utterly delighted by fellow blogger Lipglossiping’s first look entry on the Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland Palette she decided with all her heart that she wanted to take better photos and once in awhile wax poetic about her on-hand beauty bits.  She didn’t just want to post something that amounted to the decoupage of a press release, she had to personally be in there with her words settling the real-life score on a product’s essence, benefits, and proper use.  Well, Hello me, and before you stands Bless My Bag a 5-years and running beauty adventure and I continue to blog on beauty and beyond.  

  

Kikomachine comix by Manix Abrera


INTERVIEW W/ SOCIAL MARKETING GURU Seth Godin:
What do you think content that builds trust looks like?
“I think that it’s human, it’s personal, it’s relevant, it isn’t greedy, and it doesn’t trick people. If the recipient knew what the sender knows, would she still be happy? If the answer to that question is yes, then it’s likely it’s going to build trust.”

Here in this simple article I aim to share some tips for newer bloggers or even some who’ve been around awhile about how to work on your posts with integrity. Through the years my site has drawn various brands who support the way I write and present content even from overseas.  From abroad I’ve worked with M&S, StrawberryNET, Luxola, and ASOS online all of whom approached me voluntarily without me putting out a smudge for attention.  I remember how shocked I was when in my second year Anastasia Beverly Hills seeded me through PR from the West Coast and sent me product, it was a one time thing because they were surprised I was all the way here in the Philippines but still!  None of that involved my calling for attention, ambush emailing, social-media lurking (following is okay of course, and I post sincere comments, not notice me comments) or tagging them.  I may or may not step on a couple of toes in this post.  I’ve decided if there’s any place I can be brutally honest it’s in my own backyard, not some thread or group where fights ensue.  If I do step on yours it’s only because I believe differently about how we ought to blog and I want to help disinfect certain layers of “attitude” our community and inspire change. The first key I’d like to share is it isn’t ever primarily about what you GET as a blogger, it’s more about the value of what you GIVE.  To keep this simple I will post 5 Points that have guided me through the years and share a couple of my mistakes and tendencies, too.  Click through to the full post to read them. … To full post & COMMENTS...

Murad Youth Builder Body Series | Book Your Murad Sesh at Rustan’s Makati or Alabang

I missed out on the event where Murad did facials but I was reassured by Team Murad PH that that would be rectified immediately.  I was all too keen to attend their bodycare experience yesterday which was the ultimate undoing upon afternoon tea.  

MURAD’s Youth Builder Bodycare line
Detoxifying White Clay Body Cleanser 5.75oz Purifies and exfoliates gently with kaolin clay Php1350
Collagen Support Body Cream 6oz Smooth on to encourage rejuvenation and renewal Php1950
<3 Firming Peptide Body Treatment 8oz – Glides on as a cream and melts into a light hydrating oil, nourishes with a blend of peptides and natural extracts Php1750
<3 Murad Rejuvenating Hand Cream 2.65oz – Resurrects tired hands with nourishing grape seed oil and glycolic acid (plus my favorite item because it has an innovative direct from-top-of-the-cap applicator…no need to remove the cap, twist to apply, wipe and twist to close.) Php1250

My faves were the ever so silky Peptide Body Treatment which is a kind of emulsion that morphs into a slippy dry oil and the hand cream which comes in such a cool tube/applicator.  We were treated to hands-on massage therapy with these products by the actual Murad pro masseuses all of whom serve at the Murad spas in Rustan’s and are DOH licensed and certified.  The Youth Builder line is gently scented with natural lemongrass and bergamot (similar to Earl Grey) extracts.  Feel free to browse Murad’s spa services menu below and book your own personal Murad pampering session at Rustan’s Makati or Alabang.  

  
If you go to the one in Makati I was told they’ve got this new space age setup which thoroughly and digitally analyzes the current condition of your skin.  All Murad products shown here are available via Rustan’s The Beauty Source.

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Pray It Forward Friday | Week 1 TRUST

I’ve had desire to begin a blog tradition here every Friday. Today I begin the first of my Pray It Forward Friday posts.  I will try to make this a weekly habit.  I wanted to start off with something as simple as praying for some of you who are hurting while responding with Godly encouragement.  I know sometimes things can hurt to the point that we all wish we could just fly away for awhile.  This is why we need to “pray it forward.”

 

 I cannot promise to respond to every single request, story, or comment, but I can certainly focus on encouraging the first 5 who post in the comments (feel free to use an alias/pen name for anonymity) and the first 5 who prefer to privately email their challenges to me via probinsiyana@gmail.com .  But of course please rest assured I’ll be reading every single comment and email regardless of whether you were one of the first 5 or not and in my heart you will be planted. With permission I might request to post an excerpt of your challenge without too much detail and a part of my response to encourage other people who are struggling as well.  I might just respond to your struggle via the next Pray it Forward Friday post.  To make it simpler I will post a theme for the struggles.  This week’s theme for Pray It Forward Requests is TRUST.  Are you struggling with this topic in your life right now, even in different aspects…whether it be God or people.  Let me know.… To full post & COMMENTS...

This Works In Transit Camera Close-up | Hydration VALidated by Val Garland & Victoria Beckham

So I nearly overlooked my 20% birthday discount from Luxola (it hangs around for like a month, you should check) and I had never purchased anything from that site yet ever and I had a small bit of PayPal money that came in.  After watching Guardian beauty editor and Pretty Honest book author Sali Hughes wind up a part 2 interview with world-famous pro makeup artist Val Garland this product was on my mind.  Val is the freelance lady who does most of the major collection imagery for MAC, who made up the Gaga for Bad Romance, and directs the makeup for campaigns and runway work under designer houses.  There was a portion of the video that wouldn’t leave my mind from timecode 5:08 and 6:25 in YouTube.  This is where Val shares the inside scoop of how she personally recommended this specific skincare gem to Victoria Beckham. 

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up
 LUXOLA PRICE
: Php1978.50 – Php395.50 (bday discount)  = Php1583.00

INGREDIENTS
:  Aqua, Butyrosperum Parkii, Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Aloe barbadensis, Cetyl alcohol, Gigawhite, Stearic Acid, Argania spinosa, Euphrasia officinalis, Borago officinalis, Sorbiton monostearate, Peg-100 stearate, Peg-100 stearate, Xanthum Gum, Coffee-Chemyunion, Hyulronic Acid, Dimethicone, Phykosil 2000, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Geglag, Vitamins A, C and E, Alpha tocopherol, Treithanolamine, Disoium EDTA, Methyl Isothiazolinone, Citrus Aurantium Flos, Rosa damascena, Phenyl Ethyl alcohol, Bisobolol.

MODERN: 
 A portable pick-me-up that evens, plumps and brightens instantly.
NATURAL: Bio Boost, our powerful new blend of repairing plant oils, Hyaluronic Acid, Argan and Starflower Oils plus a hit of Caffeine for this perfect revitalising formula. 
BEAUTY: Rapidly erases signs of fatigue, boosts hydration, and preps the skin for photo perfect make-up. 
As used by: @victoriabeckham says ‘This does work!  amazing!!! x vb

 Unless you’re an exceedingly particular person when it comes to skincare you might be underwhelmed at the onset with this one when you first try it but it DOES work on point for sleepy not-in-the-mood PMS besieged skin, especially for dry/sensitive types.  It seems to have worked for Victoria based on Val’s inside story over the span of a couple of months.  The Val Garland also likes it on the plane for long-haul flights.  It works quite covertly and takes a couple of minutes for the first facial perk up (it contains caffeine, Argan oil, vitamin antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid).  As a pro makeup artist with very sensitive skin I noticed a few small things.  It absorbed very quickly and didn’t leave a greasy sheen, more of like a satin finish perfect for beneath makeup.  After a few minutes of massaging this  light cream into my face my eyes felt less puffy and the slight hormonal bloat I had around my mouth area calmed down.  They say it’s a mask, moisturizer, and primer in one so you can also use it before bed.  I’m not too sure about the mask part but it certainly is a very, very sophisticated no-excess-nasties moisturizer.  Months later at a British awards night Val approached Victoria and she looked at Val directly and repeatedly went on to say “In Transit, In Transit, In Transit…”.  All it took was this true story and I was pleased to see that hardly anyone had noticed it on Luxola lol, so I’m now ultra keen to share it with you.  Here’s the video that spills it: Sali Hughes Beauty – In The Bathroom with Val Garland Part 2 from timecode 5:08 and 6:25.To full post & COMMENTS...

Locycare Nail Gel, by the makers of Cetaphil | Dare to Bare

“Lindas Manitas…” chanted my paternal grandma when I was little.  It was kind of like the veritable Spanish version of playing patty-cake but was more definitively a blessing for beautiful hands.  I actually didn’t like my fingertips when I was growing up.  I longed for a longer (lol) nail bed with that moonrise from the cuticles and nails that grew in a more downward fashion, but don’t we all like to nitpick at what we don’t have?  I grew up realizing my hands are mine, and that’s all that really matters.

 Recently, I haven’t been wearing a lot of nailpolish because I was quite busy doing makeup work, but I was introduced to a new product by the makers of Cetaphil that helps keep my bare nails and cuticles looking prim, proper, and delicate to the eye.     I got to use Locycare Nail Gel for about 5 -7 days, somewhere in there it wasn’t daily, like every other, then back again to daily use towards the end.  I also did a couple of outfit posts highlighting my bare nails, this first one was my accessory post.

 

LOCYCARE Nail Gel Php600, Mercury Drugstores nationwide

INGREDIENTS: Aqua, glycerin, dimethicone, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, 1,5-pentanediol, propylene glycol, carbomer, sodium hydroxide, Artemesia abrotanum oil. (Manufactured in Sweden)

Sometimes when I feel like being a bit more pop-out stylish I’d rather certain aspects of my appearance take a backseat.  For example if I have statement wardrobe pieces needing some love, I’d rather wear my nails bare, and for that they need to look clean and well cared for.         

What I did notice after roughly a week of use is that Locycare prevented the reoccurrence of hangnails, a small painful problem I often deal with when my cuticles aren’t cared for nor hydrated enough.  What I also like about it  is the tube and gel formula is a travel friendly alternative if I’d rather not bring nail or cuticle oil that might spill in transit.  Help eliminate dry white skin around your nails by moisturizing your fingertips with Locycare.  Locycare Nail Gel by Galderma is available for Php600  at select Mercury Drugstores nationwide.

Go to HEALTHYNAILS.PH and learn from one of Manila’s prominent beauty editors, Agoo Benzon. Like LOCYCARE PHILIPPINES on Facebook to stay updated with their products and promos.

*DISCLOSURE: This is a sponsored post selected with care in association with Locycare by Galderma Philippines,  Bless My Bag will not endorse a product the author does not genuinely like.


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Works With Water UK is Launching “Help: Beautify Skin” Soon

Remember “Help: Clear Skin”, by Works With Water?  Their image branding reminds me of Indeed Labs but like in the supplements department.  If some of you have been my readers for a long time you might remember (or not) that 3 years ago I blogged about the UK company Works With Water who are behind the product development of Help: Clear Skin, a powdered supplement.  This product was also featured by Grace of “London Makeup Girl” who I was a hopeless fan of at the time.  To make a point Caroline Hirons said here of her “The lovely Grace from London Makeup Girl (site down) is one of my real blogging inspirations. The champion of niche brands and ethical blogging…she writes like she’s speaking to you – not at you.”.  So, Grace’s credibility aside, which I mentioned ‘coz I know how many of you jump out of your pants in fear when it comes to supplements and would rather treat skin congestion topically, let’s now cut to the throwback.  Help: Clear Skin is an inside-out acne targeting,  safe (based on a milk protein, Praventin), tasteless powdered supplement packaged in sachets which you mix with water or any drink daily for a month, after which you could see acne, in some cases, begin to disappear in as little as two weeks.  And yes in case you were asking I did drink this for a couple of days 3 years ago during a pre-menstrual trial (guys cringe, lol) to see if I’d be less…facially spotty during that time of the month…but because I have such normal skin which births like 1 or 2 huge spots at a time I could only spot a minute difference.  But I can vouch and say nothing BAD happened to me when I drank this, I researched the company thoroughly before I did.  It didn’t upset sensitive me in any way biologically, no rashes, upset stomach, or anything like that…and there really is no taste.

reassuringly-british

 

“Although acne is often thought of as a teenage problem, a significant number of adults in their 30’s and 40’s are affected, too. Dairy peptides contain immune-boosting substances, such as lactoferrin, which can reduce the growth of the causative bacteria and improve skin inflammation. This is great news for those having to cope with the emotional and physical discomfort associated with recurrent skin blemishes. Taking a product that contains dairy peptides offers a natural and effective approach to treatment. Sadly, drinking milk itself does not work as milk contains additional hormones that can make acne worse.” – Dr. Sarah Brewer

If any of you have read the conclusive blog post I did here you’ll see that my teenage brother’s cystic acne was kept at bay for a couple of months that is until we ran out of our complimentary supply provided by the company for trial.  As I said in my introductory post “How this works is a bioactive milk protein called Praventin which is rich in lactoferrin helps repress the forming of bacteria that are responsible for forming pimples and acne.  Praventin is made present in a soluble fiber vehicle we can ingest.  It’s tasteless, odorless, and safe for vegetarians, diabetics and lactose intolerant people.”  Now the reason why I am writing about them again is not just because I am now officially a Works With Water affiliate, but because I am excited about the new product that they are about to launch, Help: Beautify Skin…yes, like you, I got goosebumpy with excitement.

HELPbfyskin

At the mention of the clue word “delicious” and gels by company co-founder, Jules, I immediately knew this new beauty supplement must be something like in the form of the energy gels that runners and fitness freaks consume.  Think Jellyace slivers, perhaps.  The group, Works With Water, which I am fond of (their rep stayed in touch when she found out I was sick after Dad was sick last year) reconnected and said it’s been awhile and they offered me a chance to help them and support the blog through affiliation.  I am totally open for brand affiliation when it comes to brands I believe in.  I want people to try them and see that they care about what they do and work on products that really work and  help people.  I am super excited about their upcoming product which I received confirmation for an exclusive preview on as well as a replenished Help:Clear Skin supply which I am excited to get my brother back on for a better photographed encore of a review.  My intro post of Help: Clear skin is here and my conclusive post on my brother’s trial is here.… To full post & COMMENTS...

A-List Exfoliation With Glam Glow Youth Mud | Hollywood’s Acclaimed Facial Mask

Boo y’all! One of the first beauty related things I had time to do while I was abroad was try on what my niece sent me from the Sephora VIB sale, she got me the limited edition “Little Sexy” size pot of Glam Glow Youth Mud. She was so sweet, because she knew I wouldn’t arrive in time to avail of the sale she asked if I wanted a little somethin’ from it in advance. I chose this little .5 oz pot, it was about $20 from the sale and $24 originally from the Glam Glow site. If celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Nina Dobrev had only good stuff to say as well as Jennifer Aniston, Denzel Washington and Jay-Z before the packaging even had branding on it (source: Forbes) then you know somethin’ good and glam is going on!

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Designed as a 10-minute professional ‘facial in a jar’ for behind-the-scenes use in Hollywood’s Entertainment, Music, Fashion & Award industries, for immediate camera- ready glowing skin. GLAMGLOW’s mud base is from the South of France Mediterranean Sea, home to glamorous Cannes, St. Tropez & Monaco. GLAMGLOW’s moisturizing collagen synthesis is for both men & women. Use a couple of times a week or simply when you need GLAM-tastic™ skin.

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INGREDIENTS: Aqua (Water), Montmorillonite (Volcanic Minerals), Kaolin (French Sea Clay), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (Purified Clay), Polyethylene, Pumice (Micro Volcanic Rock), Camellia Sinensis Leaf (Green Tea Leaf), Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract (Green Tea), Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract (Chamomile), Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract (Marigold), Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract (Cucumber), Hedara Helix Extract (Ivy), Symphytum Officinale Leaf Extract (Comfrey Herb), Lavandula Hybrida Oil

Groundbreaking patent pending TEAOXI™ is GLAMGLOW’s proprietary continuous time-release technology, delivering daily fresh Super-Squalene, EGCG Super-Antioxidants & Polyphenols direct into the mud from the real pieces of tea leaf contained in our mask. TEAOXI™ is the ‘magic’ behind our powerful anti-aging and anti wrinkle results.


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I did a patch test along my jaw first before doing my whole face since I had never tried this before and it rendered no bad reaction. The mask once on feels exactly what I want a mud treatment mask to feel like. On a newly washed and tissue dabbed face I used about 2 index finger scoops to cover (with the exception of the eye area (remember this mask tingles) and then just waited. You’re supposed to have it on for about 10 minutes I pushed for 12 but made sure I didn’t reach 15 minutes. The mask tightens as it dries and contracts and at the same time delivers a cooling tingle underneath directly over the skin. So, yes, you feel the surface of your face go stiff. Many purists say cooling is not a “naturally sourced” sensation but I like it as part of the experience. Then after you rinse it off, warm water works.
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This exfoliated my skin and left it feeling like it had just been through a sauna and massage…super duper smooth and supple and it killed off several subsurface whiteheads and stopped some oncoming zits from maturing. My face so needed this stuff at this point. Admittedly the full size pot is quite expensive which is why I chose the “little sexy” size also so that it would be easier for my niece to ship. The small pot should deliver about 3-4 generous uses or 5 scrimp-y uses. Really glad I tried this stuff. It’s actually one of those products that would be fun to try on with a BFF or hubby with selfies to follow. You guys should try this stuff at least once in your life.… To full post & COMMENTS...

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