November 3, 2012 11:58 pm
Okay, so I showed you what I packed before coming to HK, but it can’t be helped. Last minute before heading out the door for a trip abroad you do tend to grab one or two more things. Sometimes the bag you’ve decided to use already has items you realize can’t do without.
I grabbed my Crabtree & Evelyn Summer Hill hand cream, NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in addis Ababa. My Shiseido Sun Protection Foundation and Venus & Mars Smooth Lip detox were already in the side pocket of my bag. The random last minute “selection” of “stowaways” makes a point.
November 2, 2012 11:59 pm
Sorry it’s been quiet, I’ve been a bit…
…preoccupied, if you don’t mind my saying so. There’ll be lots to tell, soon. Wink*
October 31, 2012 11:08 pm
I first learned about this emulsifying product from the serene yet bubbly Brit beauty vlogger Vivianna and I first saw a bottle in this size in Rockwell about 5 months ago, but I hesitated because of the marked up price in Manila at about Php1200/1300 at that time. I zeroed in on this here in Hong Kong at L’occitane’s IFC mall boutique and with my Mastercard got it for Php1024.
This is a dreamy bath product just based on the fact that it emulsifies in the exact way I had hoped a shower oil would, this being my first one.
You don’t need to worry about the idea that you might step out of the shower feeling greasy instead of clean, it’s not like that at all. Once you’ve showered on some water, make sure your body is wet and pour about a teaspoon of this into your palm to start with, then begin massaging this on and watch it melt into your skin feeling like an oil then generously and almost instantly emulsifying into a luxurious, creamy foam that acts like a body cleanser or moisturizing bath gel. I hate cleansing oil products that fail to emulsify and end up becoming white and watery. This Almond Shower Oil does not disappoint, if I did have any cons on board about it it would just be that the scent doesn’t come across as completely natural but it does contain real almond oil.
I wish L’occitane would do more of these Shower Oils in different scented oil varieties like Olive, Lemon, or Lavender, all united by the winning emulsifying formula. That would be great wouldn’t it?
October 30, 2012 11:59 pm
In just a few hours I’ll be boarding a plane to Hong Kong and about 2 months ago I discovered some really helpful illustrated organizing pouches at Aura Athletica in Rockwell (of all places). The standout of the set of 6 pouches I got was of course this cosmetic candidate, the “Prettify” pouch which had me going “Aww” to myself like a nut in the store.
The drawings are done cutely with nice strokes on canvas textile and are obviously well rendered, the pouch also has a brown leatherette zipper strap. I like having pouches like these in my bag better than “bag organizers because even if you can’t see everything your bag looks so neat and unlike the bag organizer when these come out of the bag they still help you out by being indicative and are easier to transfer to different bags. A good bonus is these are washable, just don’t bleach them (if you do the illustrations will fade and so will the nice natural canvas shade). I have just used this to keep together the main cosmetic items I’ve chosen to bring with me on my trip.
TRAVEL PICKS – BASE: IN2IT Oil-Free 2-Way Powder foundation, K-Palette Okuma Concealer, Urban Decay synthetic brush, CHEEKS: Ecotools Retractable Brush, MAC Harmony, MAC Trace Gold, EYES: K-Palette 1Day Tattoo Black Eyeliner, Maybelline Full & Soft Mascara Waterproof, BROWS: K-Palette Lasting 2-Way Eyebrow pen, Kai Beauty-M Brow Razor, tweezers, LIPS: Elizabeth Arden 8Hr Cream Stick, NARS Pure Matte “Bangkok”, Jordana “Beige Glow”, SCENTS: Travalo atomizer with VS “Bombshell”, Stella by Stella McCartney Rollerball, NAILS: Bobbie Premium Nail Creme in “Mudslide”
I did mention that I got a set of 6 pouches and they’re all…what’s that non-word “Adorbs” *narrows eyes, flares nostrils*. What I didn’t mention yet was that all 6 of these together only cost Php450. Yes, Php450 for all 6: Go Places, Prettify, My Gadgets, Survival Kit, Forget Me Nots, and My Tools. What do you think? I know see-through plastic functionality usually is King but I can’t help but like the look of these. They also give me fond memories of the drawings of one of my best friends in college, Marielle, aka “Yelle” who until now can’t help but keep her hands busy with crafty illustrative projects.
October 29, 2012 2:22 pm
I was hanging onto Charlotte’s strawberry muffins recipe for ages with the intent of trying it but just didn’t get around to it until today. With the holidays drawing near and my cousins energetically requesting I make my most wanted Apple Pie again (which one of them just called GLORIOUS *takes a bow) I suddenly remembered my very strawberry intentions. I perused down Lipglossiping.com’s Food Friday aisle to read about her mouthwatering execution of a friend’s Christmas Chutney recipe (totally separate drool cup required) and scrolled down further to get the recipe for these yummy strawberry muffins. I know there’s a group of you that don’t like strawberries. I even have a friend who says he doesn’t like them coz they’re the berries that look like they’re going to explode (deep much), but what’s great about this recipe is you can substitute the “strawbeez” for an equal amount of fruit that you prefer.
You begin with strawberries.
Strawberry Muffins – makes 12 (via Lipglossiping)
375g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
150g caster sugar
170g chopped strawberries (washed, stems removed, and quartered)
2 medium eggs
150ml oil (vegetable or corn maybe)/I used clarified butter (Two 8 0z. Anchor butter bars) but didn’t follow Charlotte’s reco. If you want sweeter pastry follow her lead. (Charlotte: “I usually substitute half for apple sauce”)
PROCEDURE LINK here via Lipglossiping.com
What’s to love as well about this recipe? These take about 15 mins+ to assemble once you have everything you need on the table and about 20-25 minutes in the oven. Read More to see all behind-the-scenes photos I took while making these pretty, yummy muffins, things I did differently, and read a few observations I made about the process.
October 28, 2012 4:11 pm
I’ve heard one or two people praise the bulk of blue Neutrogena wipes available at S&R, those seem to be the only legit makeup removing wipes there last I checked. However my cousin and the same people who said they were good complained that those more or less sting the eyes when you use them around that area. These don’t have too mild a scent, but they don’t hurt my eyes and I’ve come to the end of the pack.
I got these at Watsons in Singapore for about SGD$11/12 but I’m going to scout around locally again to see if these are already available. They’re great and they do get waterproof makeup almost completely off. Here’s a tip. Most wipes, even great ones can’t completely get waterproof mascara, pencil, and eye makeup completely off your lashes. Wrap your index finger with a wipe like this and lightly dip in a little lite baby mineral oil (try not to gasp, mineral oil isn’t evil or fatal in small amounts) or if you prefer, extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil (Human Nature Sunflower Oil Cleanser *non emulsifying* is The Bomb) and rub gently across the lashline and carefully work the roots of the lashes till it all comes off. I personally recommend and use bottled makeup remover and cotton pads to remove makeup but because I ran out I was just using the last few wipes I had left in this pack. I like that it contains 25 towelettes, a lot but not too much so the pack isn’t too bulky to bring along. I carried these in my professional kit because male talents/models in shoots prefer to use wipes to remove their makeup. I now officially need to restock. I’ll be going to Hong Kong in 3 days to escape Halloween (which I am sooo not fond of) so I’ll check if these are available there or if there any other types of wipes that impress me.
October 27, 2012 11:43 am
I’m thankful and glad the Belle de Jour team sent an invite my way for a big peek at their own range of beauty sample boxes. Let’s have a closer look, shall we?
1.) L’oreal Paris Total Repair 5, Daily Repairing Treatment 50ml, 2.) Garnier Skin Naturals Pure Active Multi-action scrub 50ml, 3.) L’oreal Revitalift Night Repair Essence 5ml, 4.) L’oreal Lucent Magique Skin Illuminating BB Cream SPF20 5ml, 5.) Calvin Klein Eternity Aqua 1.2ml sample vial, 6.) SYOSS (by Schwarzkopf) Anti-Dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner (both 100ml), 7.) Yves Rocher Hydra Vegetal Hydrating Toner 50ml, 8.) BONUS: Garnier Skin Naturals LightSPF17 facial cream sachets. CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE to see first few brands involved at BDJbox.com
I’m actually genuinely delighted at how jam-packed my BDJ blogger sample box is and they’ve managed to even fit in 2 or more full-sized products in there! I’m particularly curious about that tiny sample of BB Cream. The BDJ Box is brought to us beauty lovers by the same editorial team that brought us the Belle de Jour planner which was spearheaded by Kat Dy. Belle de Jour is a well-thought-out planner for women that includes tips on beauty and self confidence plus shop and dine coupons to help and encourage you to live more fully throughout the year.
We also have Barbi Chan the makeup artist and our very own blogger friend Tara on board as part of the beauty ministry team for the BDJ Box subscription service. Tara is the cheerful face behind the blog Chronicles of Vanity(dot)com. Read more to get the full post inclusive of subscription details, payment plans, contact details, perks, and photos from the BDJbox launch!
October 26, 2012 12:30 pm
If a specific hair oil sells 1 bottle every 2 minutes worldwide you ought to be paying attention. Since the original Kerastase Elixir Ultime was released that’s approximately the rate it’s been selling at. Elixir Ultime has been hanging 10, surfing the huge hair oil swell the beauty world is having at the moment. It’s true, have you seen the arsenal of hair oils now being marketed everywhere? Women the world over love Kerastase, so you know that when a brand like this does a hair oil, they’re making it their own way and they do it real good. The Elixir Ultime family has expanded with 3 newly scented variants with specific benefits for different hair types.
LEFT TO RIGHT: 1.) Grand Cru, ROSE MILLENAIRE – for fine, sensitive hair, 2.) Grand Cru, MORINGA IMMORTEL – for damaged hair, 3.) Elixir Ultime, OLEO COMPLEXE – original base formula, ALL HAIR TYPES, 4.) Grand Cru, THE IMPERIAL – for color-treated hair
The original base formula of Kerastase Elixir Ultime (which is part of all variants) is a power-packed combination of 4 treatment oils. Please do not confuse these 4 ingredients with the 4 Elixir Ultime variants, this is what the Oleo-Complexe contained in all variants consists of.
1. PRACAXI OIL – Originating from the Amazonian regions contains active anti-oxidants.
2. ARGAN OIL – One of the rarest oils in the world from Morocco known for its reparative and regenerative properties.
3. MAIZE OIL – The star ingredient in Kerastase’s first ever hair mask, “Masque Mais” Rich in vitamins A, E, and Omega 6.
4. CAMELLIA OIL – Extracted from Camellia flowers in Asia, this oil is a source of Vitamin F and fatty acids, and Omegas 3 & 6
Exactly one month ago I attended the exclusive Kerastase Grands Crus launch and I came home with these two variants. We who were invited were all given two random variants each. Oddly enough, I ever so randomly ended up with the exact pair I would have chosen, who knew right…the gold Original Oleo-Complex (not especially scented) and the pretty in pink “The Imperial” Grands Cru, the one specifically formulated for protecting and defining color-treated hair, which I absolutely like the scent of, and so does my mother.
THE IMPERIAL FORMULA (pink): Oleo Complexe + Imperial Tea, with the highest concentrations of antioxidants and white tea extract, Imperial Tea enhances the true depth of color.
INGREDIENTS: Cyclopentasiloxane, dimethiconol, zea mays/corn germ oil, argania spinosa oil/argana spinosa kernel oil, camellia oleiferas, pentaclethra macroloba oil, butylphenyl methylpropional, benzyl salicylate, hexyl cinnamal, benzyl alcohol, linalool, limonene, citronellol, geraniol, coumarin, camellia sinensi extract/leaf extract, parfum/fragrance, C52498/1 (indicated on the bottom, behind the box)
Here’s a tip to get you a bit more expertise when reading ingredients. When reading ingredients know that predominance by weight means the ingredient which weighs the most is listed first (*FDA). An ingredient that comes first, in a proper, official list generally means that is what it contains most of. I’m not surprised a silicone ingredient came first, most of these highly commercial hair products that promise “instant” effects usually contain a combination of silicones in them, no biggie. What’s great to note though in this product is that the “magical” 4-oil combination, aka the “Oleo-Complexe”, already comes into play beginning with the third listed ingredient, maize oil (“zea mays/corn germ oil). I’ve read up on some hair oils where the prized oils in the formula were only read out from the 5th, 6th, or even 7th ingredient counted. So you can be assured in this Elixir Ultime product that you’re getting a good amount of what you expected.
It doesn’t make much sense to show how this enhances my hair since I’ve got a pixie do but I’ll tell you what I like about it is it’s a thin oil, it’s not gloopy. Since I’m not aiming for volume with this hair oil its smoothing and soft shine effect is exactly what I need when frizz and too much lift come into play. It’s not unattractively greasy as long as you only put 1 pump on, or 2 pumps for longer hair and rub the oil briskly between your hands before applying. I would strongly advise against applying this directly from the bottle onto your hair, put it on the hands to warm up the product prior to application and avoid the roots at all costs if you don’t want to kill volume on long hair after blowouts. It’s absolutely marvelous for the ends if you’ve got dry, damaged hair and is more often used as a finishing product or different sort of leave-in conditioner. I have to say this again, the Pink variant smells super lovely, even if it’s specifically for color treated hair you can still use it even if your hair isn’t colored.
A bottle of Kerastase Elixir Ultime costs Php2,280.00. To avail of Elixir Ultime, visit your nearest salon that carries Kérastase products. For more information, visit the official Kérastase website at www.kerastase.com or call the local Kérastase RP hotline, (02) 672-7200.
*product provided by brand for review
October 24, 2012 11:02 am
I was drawn like lightning just a few moments ago to Michelle Phan’s FB plug on her post about the Golden Ratio of Beauty, not because I was desperate to find out what the Golden Ratio was (we’re deeper than that, right, Marianas Trench) but because for history’s sake and human reasoning I wanted to hear her thoughts on the matter. The “Golden Ratio” she mentions refers to beauty being measured mathematically in reference to Phi, in this reference she posted it is visually shown using a geometric mask patented by Dr. Stephen R. Marquardt in 2001. Dr. Marquardt, a retired surgeon who was also once Chief of Facial Imaging in UCLA, now focuses on research in human attractiveness in California and remains an active member of the Societies of Maxillofacial Surgeons. Here is what Marquardt’s patented mathematical mask looks like applied to a photo of Angelina Jolie’s face.
image source: http://www.everyoung.co.nz/
Michelle Phan blogs according to research as defined by the Marquardt mask:
“In terms of facial beauty, here are the ratios that define “perfect beauty”:
- The ratio of the length of the face to its width is approximately 1.6. That means that the face is about 1.5 times longer than it is wide.
- The face is then divided into three sections: hairline to right in between the eyes, from between the eyes to the bottom of the nose, and from the bottom of the nose to the very bottom of the chin. The lengths of each of these segments should be about equal.
- Ear length should be equal to nose length, and the width of an eye should be equal to the distance between the eyes.” source link: http://www.michellephan.com/post/beauty-school-the-golden-ratio
In the corner of my heart I am originally a Michelle “PhanGirl” in spite of everything she isn’t or what people point her out to be, she got me started on beauty even before Lisa Eldridge even came into the picture for me. In my opinion physical beauty, while being a great gift, is secondary to who you really are and how you help shape your world in the fullness of your purpose for the Lord. Check out Michelle’s thoughts on the Golden Ratio here at her blog post. Hold on a minute…whatcha doing with that ruler? LOL…
October 23, 2012 3:42 pm
If this doesn’t get you into that holiday “rush” I don’t know what will. Benefit Cosmetics is having a 1-day flash sale at Greenbelt this Thursday, October 25, 2012. Sorry to be redundant but I must, seeing that some of you have upset the area around you in excitement, please note that the discounts (up to 50% on selected items) on that day will only be valid at the Greenbelt 5 Benefit Boutique and the sale opens at 11am and closes at 9pm. Holiday kits will be exclusively be made available 8 days before official on-counter sales. No faking sick leave okay…(seriously, I hate lying, all sorts). Just consider that office lunchbreak forfeited, looks like you might be having Benefit Cosmetics for takeout…
See you there, Teddy Bear! Remember to flash that winning smile at the person next to you at work before breaking the sound barrier on the way to Greenbelt 5.