Bless My Bag

beauty bagged by a cheeky Filipina

Plants Versus Zombie | Spring Skincare February 2014

I had a quick revisit of my skincare regimen to note what I’ve been using most regularly to keep from looking like the deadly undead.  I just observed my winning streak with these bits of skincare.  I haven’t had any allergic reactions or breakouts in nearly a year.  I noticed a growing trend, pun unintended.  Given that four of these six products are available locally and reasonably priced for the amount I think I’ve got pretty good plant-charged skincare picks on hand.

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I’ve reviewed most of these products individually and have also included those links below.  Please note that my regimen has become less “strict” and more of an “as needed” situation when it comes to application.   So I don’t use ALL of these together daily, the combination changes.  Of course the cleansing milk I use everyday, it is hydrating enough for me to sometimes skip moisturizer, but not all the time.  I didn’t include body products but just for details’ sake I’ve been using my LUSH cosmetics vegan solid soaps for the past few months.  The only two imported products are the 100 Percent Pure Tomato Lycopene Cream and the Pai Facial Oil, the rest are available locally.

MAKEUP REMOVER – The Body Shop Camomile Eye & Lip Makeup Remover (bi-phase) 150ml Php650 (goes on buy 1 take 1 sale sometimes).  The one I used to buy a lot was the L’Oreal Gentle bi-phase which was Php300 a couple of years back but now according to Mom it’s now up to about Php500+?  That’s what she told me, will double check and the L’Oreal one gave me red itchy skin after makeup removal.  For a hundred more I’d rather use the Body Shop’s Camomile one. A little goes a long way with this makeup remover so one bottle hangs around longer and my face doesn’t itch.  I like it mainly for eyes because Bioderma Crealine doesn’t remove waterproof mascara well enough for me.

FACIAL CLEANSER – Le Couvent Des Minimes Beneficial Rose Gentle Cleansing Milk Php799 (Non-foaming, No Mineral Oil) goes on buy 1 take 1 sale  at major SM Department stores- “With 3 Beneficial Roses” If that’s not skin love I don’t know what is, LOL. This also contains wild rose hip polyphenols to further nourish skin after cleansing.  I’m on my third or fourth bottle of this stuff.  On a super lazy night I can even skip makeup remover sometimes thanks to this.  If you massage this directly on top of made up skin for longer periods before rinsing off with water it also is able to break down most base and eyelid makeup.  You can you can use a cotton pad so you can see what’s coming off.

TONER – Moringa O2 Malunggay Herbal Facial Toner Php80 (Alcohol-Free)  I use this just as needed, not everyday but it’s what I want in a next step after cleansing and it’s alcohol free, it also has an aloe water base that hydrates and soothes the skin afterwards.  I also use it with cotton to ensure my skin has been purged of all grime and makeup.

DAILY MOISTURIZER – 100 Percent Pure Tomato Lycopene Face Cream $34 USD (No toxins, No Mineral Oil) Mom got me this from San Francisco airport is the purest botanical moisturizer I’ve ever owned.  The ingredients list, as you can see in the standalone review, speaks for itself.  Key plants are rose, cucumber, tomato, carrot, avocado, pomegranate and more.  Note…even though it is not artificially scented it DOES NOT STINK as an organic product, there a very, very light tomato after scent which disappears once skin has absorbed it.  This one I like to use day or night.  It’s a powerful yet gentle overnight miracle worker for me when coupled with a few drops of the Pai Rosehip facial oil.  It’s a light moisturizer, not as rich as the next one.

TREATMENT MOISTURIZER - Za Perfect Solution Restoring Collagen Cream Php725 (No Mineral Oil, with Hyaluronic Acid)  I’ve come to like this just recently, I misjudged it by its name and packaging.  It’s the more chemically charged one in this group but it isn’t that bad sort of cream.  In that fuschia pink pot it looks like nothing botanical and the “anti-aging” description turned me off at first, but boy did I misjudge this.  I was way wrong. It is quite simply a moisturizer packed with glycerin collagen, hyaluronic acid, yuzu seed extract, apricot juice, marine elastin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and moisturizing minerals.  It certainly backs up the list with how it makes my skin feel.  I choose to use this as a treatment cream when I feel my skin needs a bit more hydration locked in.  I like how the skin surface feels plump and supple about half an hour after the cream sinks in.  The only thing I would change about this is I’d make it fragrance free, but it doesn’t break me out anyway.  Best overall description for me is this is like a lightweight version  of Clinique’s yellow Dramatically Different Moisturizer +.  It gives the same type of lasting hydration but with less stickiness and more softness, plus for hundreds of pesos less.

FACIAL TREATMENT OIL – PAI Bioregenerate Rosehip Facial Oil $31 USD A friend based in SG ordered this for me from the Pai UK Website a year ago and I’m almost halfway down the bottle after a year because you only use two drops with your moisturizer on nights when you need it.  Yasumi of Worship Blues blog turned me on to this.  From what I can tell we have a similar complexion and facial skin type (sensitive to dry combo, plus she’s Japanese and I have Japanese ancestry).  A few drops of this with the Tomato Lycopene cream before bed and I wake up to perfectly rebalanced skin.  I try to use this once to twice a week.

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So that’s my updated skincare edit.  I really use these products on a regular basis now so believe me when I say they work for me as a person with dry to sensitive skin.  I didn’t just think of putting a bunch of products together for the sake of an edit.  More or less I’ve been posting my updated skincare products every six to eight months, (here’s the previous post) on the blog.  I just have to say what a plant powered group this one turned out to be…goodbye, zombie “zkin”.

The Upside Down Cat Eye | Gregory Arlt for Vogue Japan Inspired

I have been truly, truly enjoying the sun in my room now between the hours of 330-530pm.  It makes random “bEditorial”makeup shoots like this in my bedroom possible.  I was very inspired by an image I spotted in  MAC MUA Gregory Arlt’s Instagram account, a professional who has dubbed himself the “beauty exorcist”.  If I’m not mistaken he was here a few weeks or months ago teaching a MAC masterclass to some professional artists.  Gregory is a professional celebrity and high fashion makeup artist who’s done celebrities like Gwen Stefani, Lily Allen and many more.  I was kind of feeling bleh at the whole kitty flick trend which is practically everywhere and this was my chance to play around for fresh perspective.  Here is my version of Gregory Arlt’s upside down cat eye look which he did for an editorial in Vogue Japan.

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I actually began the look without the melon eyeshadow that you can sort of spot in the photos, I nearly forgot to add it later on.  Without the melon eyeshadow to lift the the eyes this is what it looks like, it’s kind of okay, but it ends up a bit lackluster and it makes the look cold and sci-fi instead of fresh.

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I don’t look too happy either in this one hahaha!  So melon eyeshadow is needed.  I prefer it with the happy melon toned eyeshadow from the MAKE UP FOR EVER Arty Blossom Spring Palette.  Here is the photo of Gregory Arlt’s work for Vogue Japan that inspired me and the products I used to do it on myself.

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PRODUCTS USED – MUD Cream Foundation, Ellana Pressed Mineral Foundation in French Vanilla (certain areas only), MUFE Super Matte Loose Setting Powder #14, Missha Perfect Concealer, MAKE UP FOR EVER Arty Blossom Spring Palette (Limited edition ’til end of February) Bobbi Brown Sepia Ink (Brown) Gel Liner, Makeup Factory Black Automatic Waterproof Eyeliner, K-Palette Brow Pen, Revlon Lash Potion Waterproof Mascara, MAC Peach Blossom lipstick

 

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I’ll just explain the part about the eyeliner.  I basically used the Bobbi Brown Sepia gel liner to create the stroke making sure my tapered tips ended soft with less intensity, if they weren’t soft enough I’d correct with some concealer and a fine brush, then I used the K-Palette Brow Pen to perfect the ends without using black.  The only black I used was on the inner lower rims of my eyes just the way it’s also done on the model, black inside, brown outside.

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Too much blue steel projectioN, not used to it…let’s fix that, there you go.  Just couldn’t resist posting one of me smiling after all those steely looks!  This is more like me than any of the other photos!  All photos were shot by me, myself, and I in my bedroom, we make a good team, don’t you think LOL!  Have you ever tried executing a trend makeup look on your own with a reference?

MAC Peach Blossom Lipstick | The Cremesheen That Could

I’m equally drawn to MAC lipsticks as the next makeup-savvy girl but to put it bluntly out there I’m not really a fan of the cremesheen finish range.  I for one personally prefer my lipsticks to feel like lipsticks.  To me a classic lipstick feels more waxy than creamy with slightly more drag than slip.  MAC’s new huggable lipcolor range, for example, I’m more okay with because in spite of high shine they still have more cling to them than cremesheens do. However, I did make the exception for MAC Peach Blossom after Anna of Vivianna Does Makeup did a standalone post on it and it looked subtle but super pretty.  Peach Blossom is nearly a cremesheen version of MAC Patisserie (which is a lustre, a little more opaque, less slip) but with a slightly more pink less warm undertone.

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MAC Cremesheen lipsticks provide the high-shine finish of gloss with slightly more color and without the sticky situation.   Peach Blossom (Php1000) is a pink-beige shot with light-catching shimmer particles only seen in direct light.

I’ll be honest I’ve only bought 3 MAC lipsticks in my lifetime, because I have to really, as in REALLY, like the color to get it.  Right after getting Peach Blossom at the MAC Counter in Shangrila Plaza I put it on immediately, I had of course also tested it before making the purchase.

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One thing I immediately noticed was how great my lips looked when I saw my slightly blurred reflection in a mirror far across me while on a descending escalator.  With Peach Blossom on it was obvious I had a nude-ish mauve something on but it looked like it had lifted my lips in terms of color instead of disappearing into my face.  That observation jumped out at me and I totally liked it and so for once I gave in to a cremesheen.  Something extremely similar in the drugstore would be Za’s Collagen infused Plumper Lips lipsticks but they don’t have as huge a shade range of course as MAC.  I’m still on the radar for MAC Plink which is a lustre lipstick close to this sort of color but with a subtle gold sheen.  MAC lipsticks cost Php1000 in stores.  I have bought a MAC product in the past from a stockist but I really prefer to buy MAC products from the actual boutiques to ensure authenticity.

REVLON Colorburst Matte & Lacquer Balm Crayons

When Revlon released the matte and lacquer versions of their lip crayons abroad the news spread globally like real quick, and we hopefuls over here waited…and waited.  People knew these arrived two weeks ago, they’ve raided shelves and they’ve posted photos, now it’s my turn to have a go at them.

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I was given 6 Colorburst Crayons by Revlon to review and I purchased 1 in my color of choice for around Php500+.  The matte balms have a plush sort of finish and moderate coverage.  The lacquer balms have a shimmering gloss finish and sheer to moderate coverage.

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The collection is a wonderfully wide range and the color payoff is impressive.  Both finishes are comfortable to wear and I like the neutral peppermint flavor also present in the original Kissable balm stains.  To be honest the matte balms are very soft on the lips but I expected them to be just a bit less patchy with more opaque coverage.  However I did notice that the texture sometimes also depends on the shade which would probably mean they should try and work out consistency.  I truly wish all the matte balms had the same coverage as the cool true red “Standout” which is like just 5% short of perfect for me in terms of finish.  However the one that I laid eyes on because of its perfect happy red hue is “Striking”.

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The shade I didn’t resist purchasing the day before the Revlon launch was their matte balm in “Striking” which is like a matte version of my Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Heftiest Hibiscus, a nail polish that would match it would be Clinique Happy Heart.  This is a younger looking red with a coral undertone and feels similar to the Maybelline 14-hr one Lisa Eldridge raved about called Non-Stop Red.  I think Revlon’s “Striking” is probably the most wearable bold daytime red I’ve ever come across for myself which doesn’t drain my face when I put it on.  I like that I have the option to blot it down if I want to and how it fades very gradually in a nice way after about 3 hours before you need to retouch.  Many bright colors don’t wear away as gracefully as this one does.  To get optimum wear out of any of these crayons make sure your lips are exfoliated of all chapped skin.

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I think it’s only right and less confusing that Revlon are integrating all their lip crayons into the Colorburst range, the Kissable Balm Stains I suspect will soon join the flock and may be renamed as well together with the matte and lacquer variants.  Though these new crayons with new textures may not be as long-wearing as their balm stain siblings they beautifully pack punches of color for a reasonable price and will be so convenient to bring along on vacation trips as summer rolls swiftly in next month!

Za Restoring Collagen Cream | A Botanically Nourishing Cream, No Mineral Oil

I actually shortened the name in the title because it was in my opinion kinda way too long : Za Perfect Solution Restoring Collagen Cream.  A pretty technical product name, a mouthful, which sounds scary BUT don’t fear, this rich moisturizer is actually simple and botanically sound and oh, so nourishing for the skin.  Plus hey, it’s water based and doesn’t contain mineral oil! I finally tried this hoping since it was rich it might be a great overnight moisturizer.  I’ve discovered it’s a great one for day or night and leans a little bit on the side for people with particularly dry skin in need of a boost.  Don’t let the name scare you, this moisturizer is packed with good nourishing botanicals AND hyaluronic acid, one of our favorite skin-loving ingredients.  I should have given the ingredients a closer look earlier on, I would have used it sooner, because it’s pretty much in my opinion what Caroline Hirons might agree with in a moisturizer!

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KEY INGREDIENTS: Water, Marine Elastin, Vitamin A, Bio-Hyaluronic Acid, Yuzu seed extract, Apricot Extract, Marine Collagen, Calcium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride. Php725.00 for 40g

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I’ve worn it twice and it leaves my skin smooth and soft.  On first application it’s a little rich and there’s a momentary stickiness but it goes away after it’s been given a few minutes to sink in.  I also pretty much trust Za in terms of skincare the reason being they’re also a daughter brand of Shiseido.  The only thing short of making this my perfect treatment moisturizer is the fact that it’s scented, but even if it is it doesn’t break me out and hits almost all boxes on the great moisturizer checklist!  Available wherever Za products are sold for PHp725.00.

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