Bless My Bag

beauty bagged by a cheeky Filipina

So, Le Couvent Des Minimes Skincare Isn’t Leaving?!

I wasn’t wrong, but I wasn’t right either…according to a certain reader, anyway, and this time I was so happy to be wrong.  Basically it began when one reader months ago hinted that I should stock up on my favorite Le Couvent Des Minimes Gentle Cleansing Milk because a certain saleslady in SM told her Le Couvent Des Minimes Skincare was soon going to vanish completely from SM Watsons beauty floors, and true enough they seemed to forever be on sale, which was worrying me.  ‘Til finally I went to SM myself 2 weeks ago to see if rumors were true and if I could still score a bottle.  They were completely sold out of the cleansing milk in SM Makati and the salesgirl there told me with her own lips that the brand was going to be pulled out soon, in fact it had already been “pulled” from several branches.  Then suddenly, something odd, another reader, E, as we shall call her, checked in SM Aura and they had just FULLY, FRESHLY, restocked on Le Couvent Des Minimes a few days ago.  I was like “What?!”.  According to her, the saleslady over there naman confirmed that they had started pulling out of various SM branches but then suddenly, as the story goes, the “owner” or person in charge changed her mind about pulling out and fully restocked on LCDM.  Sooooo…

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Just showing last year’s holiday set which features the two products I like most from LCDM’s Beneficial Rose range (Cleansing Milk and moisturizer).

So please pardon the misinformation but it really was very confusing since more than one saleslady confirmed LCDM being pulled out and a couple of readers kept warning me to restock because that’s also what they were being told, but like I said I’m happy I was somewhat wrong this time.  I wonder how long it will be before they restock all the Le Couvent Des Minimes counters, or if they’ll be keeping this brand exclusive to certain branches of SM beauty only.  Right now “E” says you can find the brand at SM Aura, if I elbow you there don’t take it personally, haha!

Benefit’s New Summer Swag! | Big Easy Oil-Free Base & LolliTint

Perk up that summer selfie with Benefit Cosmetics’ two new “babes”, these makeup bits are as cute as ever!  This summer step out with Benefit’s two new eye-catching products.  First in line is their NEW Big Easy Oil-Free Liquid-to-Powder base (“Better Than BB”) with SPF35 to protect gorgeous you from harmful UV rays, and candy-crushin’ Lollitint their lilac/orchid color-of-the-year inspired (aren’t we hyphening lots today) lip and cheek tint.  I’m going to use both these products together when I show you because it just makes a whole lot more sense that way :).  This is a quickfire reaction and review!

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BIG EASY SPF35, 35 mL / 1.18 US fl. oz. (Php2000.00)- BIGGER than BB! Why? Two reasons. First, big easy balances moisture & controls oil. Second, the cushiony liquid-to- powder formula melts in like a cream, yet finishes lightweight & velvety like a powder.  This multi-balancing complexion perfector gives light-to-medium natural coverage to even out skintone and conceal imperfections.  Non-comedogenic. Oil-free. (Available in 6 shades)

LOLLITINT 12.5 mL / 0.42 US fl. oz. (Php1700)- Our candy-orchid tint treats lips & cheeks to a “pop” of dreamy sweetness. It’s the flirtiest flush you can get from a bottle…and its smudge-proof, smooch-proof color lasts from A.M. to P.M. Talk about stain power!  (For a heavenly flush apply hervana orchid-blossom blush on top of lollitint.)

First thoughts on BIG Easy, it’s basically, generally Benefit’s version of BB Cream.  The coverage is sheer to moderate and I’m pretty sure you can build it up, however it does tend to feel moderately heavy because of the higher level of sun protection.  It smells mildly of standard sunscreen, the smell that the general, urban public have on them when they head out to shore, nothing offensive.  The smell is clean and standard issue.  I like the non-dewy, fresh finish of this, OOTDs in the sun will need less blot sheets on hand.  Read more to get the full review, see application, and also check out Benefit Lollitint!

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Andalou Naturals Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk | Non-GMO Botanics for Dry, Sensitive Skin

I’ve found so far what has proved to be more than worthy as my replacement cleanser by Andalou Naturals at Healthy Options and it’s actually cheaper than my previous, well-loved Cleansing Milk.  This is the Andalou Naturals Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk for Dry & Sensitive Skin (from the Age Defying range, when it’s something THAT specific, it’s usually good).  My skin is short of REJOICING at the moment.  I was supposed to blog about this new probiotic, ph-balanced no-nasties formula in a week but it’s made such a difference in 3 days of using it day and night that I can’t stand not telling you about it.  That’s a step UP from the performance of my previous cleanser which maintained, minimally soothed, and hydrated my pretty good skin but didn’t clear up small problems which kept repeating themselves.  This new Andalou cleansing milk costs nearly Php300 LESS than my old one.   It’s a first in my book that their “Age Defying” range (purple themed) is the selection that’s particularly formulated for “dry & sensitive skin” (they have other ranges for varying skin types) and the words “probiotic”, “fruit stem cells” and “cleansing milk” just made me give this a go since I needed a replacement soon.  This performed well beyond my expectations as a slightly more affordable cleansing substitute.  When this light cleansing cream (it’s more a lightweight cream that emulsifies than a milk) glides over your face at first you’re like “How can something that at first feels like nothing do something?”…trust me, for me it did more than just “something”.  On the first day a few minutes after I rinsed this off I knew my skin liked this and a few hours later I knew I had just made a major, personal discovery but I let 3 days pass to further validate my observations.

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Andalou Naturals Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk for Dry & Sensitive Skin, Php549.00 178ml

“Fruit Stem Cell Complex and probiotic microflora calm irritation and stimulate cell turnover for improved dermal immunity. Nourishing aloe vera, apricot and borage oils gently loosen and remove make-up and impurities, while restoring intracellular moisture and a healthy glow.  For clean, nourished skin and a restored complexion.” – ANDALOU NATURALS (PH Balanced & Hypoallergenic)

INGREDIENTS:
Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil*, Vegetable Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Oil, Prunus Dulcis (Almond) Milk, Glyceryl Monolaurate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Probiotic Complex (Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide, Polymnia Sonchifolia Root, Maltodextrin and Lactobacillus), Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Resveratrol, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Vitis Vinifera (Grape Seed) Polyphenols, Allantoin, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Mangifera Indica (Mango) Butter, Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis Extract*†, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) and Borago Officinalis (Borage) Oils*, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Agathosma Capensis (Buchu) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil*
*Organic † Fair Trade Made naturally without GMO’s, gluten, paraben preservatives, petrochemicals, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic colors, dyes and fragrances. Verified Gluten-Free 100% Eco-friendly, Vegetarian & Cruelty-Free, All Andalou products have been tested by the Food Allergy Research & Resource Program (FARRP)

Most of you have read about my being disappointed that Le Couvent Des Minimes French skincare is soon about to leave SM and Philippine shores by end of March and you also know I’ve been highly dependent on their Beneficial Rose facial range, especially the cleansing milk and moisturizer (I have about less than 2 half bottles left of LCDM cleanser).  Andalou Naturals I’ll admit is a bit of a risk substitute because niche botanical brands like Andalou in niche stores like Healthy Options sort of give you an uncertain feeling about how long their ranges will be around for but for now I’ll just be grateful I found a replacement. It still contains Rosehip which I believe in as a skin ingredient.  That word “restored” up in the product description is exactly how my skin began to feel after 2 days minimum.  Andalou Naturals botanical use of berries and plants reminds me of Essie Button’s favorite skincare brand Antipodes.  When I researched “probiotics in skincare” what came up in the search was another highly-acclaimed, but nearly unreachable, Tatler awarded foreign brand Aurelia Skincare, the range that advanced skin facialist and expert Caroline Hirons and Youtuber ChelseaWears highly recommend (Caroline likes the cleansing balm, Chelsea loves the serum).  Note, C. Hirons is the expert and Chelsea of ChelseaWears on YouTube is the honest everyday consumer like you and me who swears (sometimes excessively) by the Aurelia Revitalize & Glow Probiotic Serum.  We  DO NOT have Aurelia Skincare locally but my guess is Andalou Naturals at Healthy Options comes close as a good-enough budget version with the probiotic benefits of the Age Defying range for Sensitive skin (something that sounds tailor fit for me).  Read more to get my full review, this is sort of a long one because I talk about my skin and mention probiotics among other things.

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My “No Makeup” Makeup Edit | One Face, Five Products

Lots of you liked this look yesterday, I was getting lots of likes for it on both Instagram and Facebook in both my personal and blog accounts.  This  was primarily shot to show the use of the lip and cheek product I featured but people kept giving me feedback on how they loved the look as a whole.  It really is the most minimal sort of makeup I would ever wear usually on weekends or when with family (which is often), a “no makeup” makeup look if you will.    Cue the acapella version of “True Colors”.  I feel like I cast myself in a Dove ad ‘coz of this photo.

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I put this look on the other day before heading out to visit my grandfather and since many of you liked it so much I’ve decided to share all five products I used to create it.  It also just occurred to me that I didn’t need to use a makeup brush in general, I only did at the very end to do some buffing and retouching but I didn’t really need to.  The look requires minimal effort and you can use your hands for every step except the brows and lashes.

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1.  BECCA Luminous Skin Colour Ultra Sheer Foundation in “Camel” SPF 25 (they were at Adora last I remember, hope they’re still there, my niece got me this in the US, any sheer base you have will do)

2. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Ginger”  user friendly because of the wand and its creamy consistency, sets to a matte finish, good enough for spots as well as under the eyes.

3. K-Palette Real Lasting Eyebrow Pen in “01” This is one of the closest local brow pens we have to match that phenomenal SUQQU Pen Lisa Eldridge always uses.  It’s water and sweat resistant and doesn’t give the drawn-on brow effect, it gives a more natural look

4. L’Oreal Shocking Extensions Waterproof Mascara - This is the US mascara that does it all for me, volume, length, waterproofing, and superb curl hold.  A good local one is L’Oreal Double Extension Curl Waterproof OR Majolica Majorca Edge Meister Waterproof.

5. Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Powder Pink  – Enough said about this awesome lip and cheek product, the color is what makes it rock, I’ve reviewed it in FULL here.

 

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It’s also the sort of look guys and people who know us best tend to appreciate, minimal, radiant, and fresh.  For girls who have problematic skin just switch the sheer base for a foundation with more coverage.  I like this look, I shall be doing this on myself more often this summer.

 

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