This Red Lipstick, Too | NARS Audacious “Annabella”

The dilemma that lies behind a friend asking you to personally buy her a NARS Audacious lipstick like one you already own is certain…especially when you find at the counter they’re out of stock of the exact shade she wants.  It is here you’re most likely to get waylaid yourself.  Here follows that moment when you need to swatch the remaining shades of that wonderfully formulated NARS Audacious line (a seriously often sold out permanent range) to find a shade close to “RITA” (in Rustans Alabang they had like 6 shades left).  So you buy your friend the shade  “MARLENE” (subtle difference…a touch more brick) but in the process discover the amazing something-special red that is “ANNABELLA”.  You look up in a blur and helplessly glance at the saleslady speaking to you in warped, slow-mo speech “Last…one…na…po…yan”.


(PHOTO CREDIT: I wasn’t able to take a bright day shot of the lipstick itself so I’m linking to Karen’s existing photo online. The photo of swatches below is my own.

NARS “Annabella is in the realm of MAC Lady Danger but it isn’t as packed with orange.  It is, to me anyway, a near perfect example of a balanced classic red for my complexion.  NARS “Rita” (which I blogged about first here) is the deeper less shouty red I prefer to wear if I want something less game and more elegant.  When you see “Annabella”, it’s somewhat bright but not garish at all on medium to fair skin.

Processed with VSCOcam with s1 presetYou also can’t immediately say whether it’s more of blue red or a coral red.  It’s caught almost in the center but not quite.  In my eyes it is the Janeane-Garofalo-in-Reality-Bites red lipstick that I’ve been waiting to find after all this time.  The NARS Audacious lipstick regular retail price is Php1650 at Rustan’s NARS counters.  Hefty, yes, but for a lipstick that is this exact hue and still looks the way it does in my first photo above after having greasy beef sinigang soup, green mango and bagoong, and a glass of water (with no lipcolor transfer) you can’t go wrong.  The key technique which works for me is apply-blot-apply-blot then press your lips together.   Hands down so far the NARS Audacious red lipsticks guarantee the most beautiful, low maintenance, comfortably worn red lips.  I rest my case, someone switch on “My Sharona”, if you don’t know what that is just click.To full post & COMMENTS...

Paul Smith and Pyjamas

I received a lovely hand-me-down recently that is still nearly new.  I was escorted out of bed this morning and into the light by this deep sapphire Paul Smith trench coat.  Who said a trench couldn’t be a robe when it felt like it?  Sapphire in my book would be midway between the brightness of royal blue and the depth of navy blue.  It’s vivid enough so you recognize the hue but deep enough to go with these darker December days.  Blimey, but I feel extra British, today!  In case you wonder, my photographer today was my brother.


PS_pyjama_02PS_pyjama_03What I also like is that underneath the collar…

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset…is a secret for the ladies.  How true is it that hidden underneath winter, spring awaits?  Quite true.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Flashback Friday | Cozy Hits

Sitting back before I try and do some more blog polishing.  I’m still hitting some programming roadblocks regarding certain areas of the layout but I’m getting there.  I’m really feeling the freedom right now of having so much more room for high-resolution imagery.

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Processed with VSCOcam with j3 presetSince we’ve been bundled up at home I’ve kind of been feeling like I have the hollowed out voice of beloved faithful Ann Voskamp narrating life right now, lol.  All shots except for the last were taken with my Samsung Galaxy S5 mobile phone and exported with theVSCOCam app.


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This Red Lipstick | NARS Audacious in “RITA”

Okay, first off before we dive into red…so y’all noticed we’ve been renovating?  Well let’s not get too settled because this isn’t done yet.  Let’s not cringe too much about this hideous content font, I still have to change the site lettering and a whole lot of other boring technical things like pagination, etcetera.  However, thank the Lord,  I’m glad that the blog layout is finally “responsive”.  In planet-earth-speak that means the site adjusts to when browser windows are resized by you (test it, see that? ooohhh…*claps*) and so the layout is also, more or less, mobile and tablet ready as well.  We also had to go high-resolution guyz…to keep up with the timez.  I think at some point when we all start having headaches from split-size pixels someone’s gotta yell “Our eyes don’t get any sharper than that!!”.  You can also probably tell I’m not quite back in the blogging saddle yet but trying to get there.  At this point I’m fiddling with getting my feet into the stirrups…so that’s almost, really. 

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Now, about this red lipstick…it went up on Instagram first (because I didn’t realize I’d get around to tinkering with the site but I did) and it caused quite a positive commotion so I thought “This should have gone up on the blog first…” MEH.  Well, let’s forget for now that it’s redundant, not everyone who reads the blog follows me on Instagram, better late than never.  This is the NARS Audacious formula lipstick in the shade “Rita” which just happens to be Mom’s second name and what everyone called her back in her “bagets” day…HA.  The fact that I randomly was given this in a NARS loot bag after their event made that part pretty cool. The NARS Audacious shade “Rita” is a rich red with the same rouge depth as I’d say MAC’s Russian Red but less cool, with a warmer tinge of earthiness making it a very suitable red for fair to medium skin with yellow undertones like mine.  It leans towards being a brick red but doesn’t quite get there.  I like that it’s sort of in between crimson and brick.  It is a very wearable red with a classic creamy glide upon application and when blotted firmly with tissue sets to a dreamy, comfortable matte that doesn’t flake and lasts through 1 to 2 meals without retouching. … To full post & COMMENTS...

Laneige Sparkling Party Holiday Collection 2014

I haven’t been turned on by a good holiday set in ages, that’s until Laneige global Korean makeup artist Cat Koh demonstrated the use of this particularly fabulous one with glee.  I saw, I liked, they gave and that was that.


LANEIGE SPARKLING PARTY HOLIDAY SET 2014 (Php 1650.00) available at SM Aura, Robinsons Magnolia and other branches.

FROM LEFT: LANEIGE Water Drop Tints in “Neon Pink”, and “Raspberry Pink”, Nail Glitter Polish in “Golden Bubble” and “Pink Wine”, and Sparkling Dust eyeshadow duo in “Pink Dust” and “Gold Dust.”


Happy Day since it is limited edition (while supplies last, and they only brought in a little over a hundred of these…or so they say)!  Seriously pretty and exquisitely done rosy sparkle is about to float your boat, and the packaging…sigh.  Click Read More and see for yourself!  You’ll also see close up photos of me trying these out.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Unboxing Christmas at Pottery Barn PH

There’s just something about I hadn’t planned a visit to Pottery Barn in Central Square, BGC. I just happened to be walking around and was suddenly and ever so positively quite taken by what I saw from the store entrance. A Pottery Barn sort of Christmas had just arrived along with the company’s VM.  I had arrived on the actual day Pottery Barn PH was unboxing Christmas!


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Mini Christmas houses sold for charity. If you place a flameless flickering light inside it comes alive with warmth through the windows.  Most if not all are over Php1000.00


I made two purchases, one is their Jingle decorative throw pillow with bells on it and “jingle” inscribed in red gothic lettering and when you shake it you really can imagine Santa Claus and his sleigh arriving, it isn’t super affordable at Php1900+ but it was just too unique for me to pass up on for the house.  This is the one Pottery Barn’s VM from the US, Dean told me was “really cute” while he was arranging pieces in different areas of their Central Square store in BGC.

Processed with VSCOcam with k1 preset I first set it on a wooden loveseat bench we have on the second floor and though the look was minimal the pillow made all the difference and brought a chic sort of festive vibe to the area.


The minimal festive look outside our master’s bedroom


The other, the “All is Calm, All is Bright” Silent Night themed throw pillow (Php1600+)  is my utmost favorite and they sell the pillowcase separate from their Php595.00 pillows.  It just jumped out at me when I saw it in store (although, to be honest it is very easily DIY-able …with a canvas case and some acrylic paint perhaps) and I liked how it was so tastefully designed.

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So I got two “Silent Night” pillow cases for the house, one for our living room and one for my bedroom.  This is how the pillow looks in our living room at the moment.

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I transferred my warm white LED Fairy lights from my vanity dresser last year to my bedside, stringing it up across my clear beaded curtain and laying the excess along the sill of my main window which is alongside my bed.  So this is what my bedroom (or at least the side with the bed) looks like now.

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With my main ceiling light switched off the less tiresome but bright enough glow of the fairy lights is just enough for reading or great calmer ambience for when having a massage or watching movies on my laptop.  I get excited before each sunset now for the chance to switch on my lights.  I still want to be able to shoot a pre-evening sunset shot with the lights on…I think that might look particularly marvelous.  The staff told me that day when I was about to leave that what I saw wasn’t even half of the stuff they needed to unbox and more shipments were coming in.  I think now might be a good time to sneak a peep at Pottery Barn in Central Square BGC and see what new Christmas items have arrived!… To full post & COMMENTS...

NovExpert Paris Repulp Mask, 0% Preservatives | The Masque After the Mask

Indicative from the title this was supposed to be posted after Halloween.  Sigh, yet again life got in the way, I’ve had these photos since last week then my laptop was dying so it had to make a trip to the computer hospital.  Apparently after nearly 5 years my 17″ gi-normous baby needed a total internal detox and simultaneously I wasn’t feeling well.  After Halloween and all that makeup or facial exposure to masks lots of faces are probably in need of  soothing rejuvenation.  Facial masks are the way to go, but some people with sensitive skin are afraid certain masks are too intensive or they don’t get the ingredients in them.  This mask in particular by Flawless distributed French brand, Novexpert is pure power you needn’t fear.

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( PRICE: pHP2000.00 at select Flawless Clinics).  Repulp Mask instantly restores comfort giving baby soft skin in 10 minutes with S&D hyaluronic acid and collagen boosters.  Similar to the Repulp Cream it “re-plumps” and regenerates deep from within the skin targeting cells to act younger. The natural ingredients work wonders providing dramatic results without a single chemical ingredient. Main benefits of use are firmness, toning, nourishment.  It was created by Dr. Colletta, a serious wonder product that gives essential anti-ageing protection for stressed out skin subject to cold,sun, pollution or dryness.

Ultra-effective Seaweed combined with Commiphora stimulates collagen.

  • 0% Preservatives
  • 0% Paraben
  • 0% EDTA
  • 0% Phenoxyethanol
  • 0% Silicone
  • 0% PEG


Aqua (Water),Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Behenyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol,C10-18 Triglycerides, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, GarciniaIndica Seed Butter, Candelilla/Jojoba/Rice Bran Polyglyceryl-3 Esters, GlycerylStearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Parfum(Fragrance), Arginine, Hydroxystearic/Linolenic/Oleic Polyglycerides,Trehalose, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, MicrocrystallineCellulose, Glyceryl Caprylate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopherol,Bisabolol, Galactaric Acid, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Ximenia AmericanaSeed Oil, Biosaccharide Gum-2, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cellulose Gum, SclerotiumGum, Xanthan Gum, Phytic Acid, Citric Acid, Sodium Carbonate, Commiphora MukulResin Extract, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Seed Extract, BrassicaOleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, PunicaGranatum Fruit Extract, Silybum Marianum Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis(Rosemary) Leaf Extract.
The mask is more of like a dense moisturizer, it’s not one of those types that hardens on your face like plaster.  Some like that stiffening action, but some find that a bit too intense.  If you are one of those types who’s allergic to a lot of things, this might just be the mask for you.  It focuses more on soothing hydration.  It’s foolproof, you slather a generous amount on your face for 10 mins then rinse it off, if I’m not mistaken Origins have a quick mask like this one.  The texture is a little bit like classic Nivea cream but not as heavy and it rinses off easily.  Then pat your face dry.
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I used the Novexpert repulp mask again a few days ago after costume festivities, it wasn’t quite like an overnight turnaround like when I used the Bioderma Cicabio cream, but it did cleanse, hydrate, and calm my skin.  I noticed one thing the day after, no redness even without makeup which says quite a bit in terms of gentleness and anti-inflammatory ingredients.  The highly acclaimed Novexpert skincare range is available at select Flawless Clinics.  I’m keen on trying the repulp cream next which is the accompanying moisturizer to this lovely mask.  Find and contact your nearest Flawless clinic here.  Just in case you want to check if they stock Novexpert in the one nearest you :).… To full post & COMMENTS...

The Body Shop Nutriganics Softening Cleansing Gel Oil | A 98% Natural Option and a Bonus Fave

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.



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