October 22, 2012 12:30 pm
Muddied fatigue and khaki shades are in at the moment, the warm complementary browns enhance that craved shade of moss tinted army “greige”. That being said, if you feel young enough to get trendy I believe you’ll survive and thrive with one, yes, just one eyeshadow this nippy season, that has dual personality under its lid. I only own 2 MAC eyeshadows which I bought in Singapore last year, and MAC Club is one of them…an eternally useful satin duochrome with schizophrenic skills, part of MAC’s permanent range (Thank God). If you stare at this shade for the first time I guarantee you’ll take at least 10 seconds to dig up words to describe MAC Club to the person in front of you. It’s positively special.
The duochrome effect does the work for people who are lazy when it comes to eyeshadow.
It takes care of making one shade look like two, initially bearing a military khaki shade while when tilted to another angle reflecting a warm coffee taupe that appears to be darker in the crease of the eye when applied. This eyeshadow has saved me more than once on photo shoots when the brief requires a deep smoky eye on many models and I’ve got no time to fiddle with more than one eyeshadow. Read more to see the military eye look I created using two eye products (not including mascara and concealer for the face).
October 21, 2012 10:54 am
I recently mentioned that I used Joy Antibac dishwashing liquid to clean my makeup brushes in my post the other day, right? Had I tested this other product sooner, this, not Joy, would have been part of the feature. Meet a locally available dishwashing liquid concentrate brought to us by Droplets of Nature and is just as effective as Joy (actively foams, too) plus is made from surfactants derived from potatoes, corn, and coconut. If you’re iffy about using Joy on cosmetic brushes (I personally am not) substitute Joy in this brush cleaning tutorial with this.
ECO-FRIENDLY DISHWASHING LIQUID (in photo: 500ml bottle)
“Our dishwashing liquid is made from potato/corn based surfactant, which is listed as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the US Food & Drugs Administration. * Highly Concentrated (a tiny drop is enough for 4 to 6 pieces of plates or 5 tablespoon of the dishwashing liquid can be mixed to one cup of water for the most economical way) With Cinnamon and Peppermint Essential Oils.”
//PRICE: P156 > 500ml //P285 > 1 liter
Effective | Concentrated | Paraben-Free | Phosphate-Free | SLES-free | Biodegradable | Not tested on animals (has the cruelty-free bunny seal)
You know, it foams like a dream on dishes as well as makeup brushes, our cook who’s been with us since before I was born (over 30 years) just said so a few minutes ago “Aba, Jul MABULA siya! (it’s very bubbly)”. Plus you know the essential oils in it helps provide the slip needed to remove food grease, because oil removes oil, then the foaming action rinses out well. The concentrate is not as runny in consistency as Joy is, it’s thicker, it’ll remind you more of a liquid gel hand soap when you pump it out, but it works so well as a brush cleansing alternative. A few pumps, I’d say about 2 or 3, diluted in 1 cup of water is enough to do probably 10+ dishes if you’re frugal with the proper use of the sponge. I know it doesn’t beat Joy’s 1 drop to like half a liter of water but that also tells you how chemically intense Joy is. Now, am not about to go on an ANTI-JOY rampage here, okay? I’m just presenting an eco-friendly alternative. Check out how many brushes I cleaned yesterday with this, you see the solution amount in the bowl.
in photo: Ecotools bronzing brushes, 2 Charm brushes, and an Ellana XL buffing brush
You know what, after doing these brushes (using my Deep Cleansing Method in this previous post) with about a 3/4 cup solution of water and Droplets of Nature’s dishwashing fluid…my hands didn’t itch AT ALL as they usually do after I use Joy. What you’re seeing in the bowl is how much solution (water + dishwashing liquid) I used to clean these 5 big, fluffy, dense makeup brushes yesterday which are separate from the set I cleaned the other day, and that solution had some left over afterwards. Now that these brushes are dry from yesterday, they look and feel like when they were new. Normally if I do this many makeup brushes with Joy (lathering them up in my left hand repeatedly) my hands tend to itch after I rinse. Now, I know what you’re thinking, what about what it can do in the Anti-bacterial department?
(it looks a little green here, but that’s just the photo from their site. The true color is shown in my first photo)
For anti-bacterial properties it doesn’t say anything specific but it does say it’s loaded with cinnamon and peppermint oils. There have been recent as well as older studies that show Cinnamon’s effectivity in the anti-microbial department, and this dishwashing liquid contains lots of cinnamon oil, so much that you can definitely smell the cinnamon and peppermint when washing the dishes, isn’t that pleasant and great for this holiday season?
“Cinnamon’s essential oils also qualify it as an “anti-microbial” food, and cinnamon has been studied for its ability to help stop the growth of bacteria as well as fungi, including the commonly problematic yeast Candida. In laboratory tests, growth of yeasts that were resistant to the commonly used anti-fungal medication fluconazole was often (though not always) stopped by cinnamon extracts.
Cinnamon’s antimicrobial properties are so effective that recent research demonstrates this spice can be used as an alternative to traditional food preservatives. In a study, published in the August 2003 issue of the International Journal of Food Microbiology, the addition of just a few drops of cinnamon essential oil to 100 ml (approximately 3 ounces) of carrot broth, which was then refrigerated, inhibited the growth of the foodborne pathogenic Bacillus cereus for at least 60 days. ” – source: WHfoods.com
Nothing like getting a bit of Christmas-y aromatherapy while doing household chores. Don’t worry about an aftertaste being left on your plates, it rinses off extremely well. I also like the peace of mind this brings when you’re eating off of a plate that you know has been cleansed with something all-natural. You can purchase this product online here via Shopinas.com AND in regular retail via Cash & Carry; Landmark; DutyFree Philippines; Finds; Bora Budget; Pepper Jack; Echostore International Freeport; Numa; Baby Land; Baby Step; Buy Low Supermarket.
//PRICE: P156 > 500ml //P285 > 1 liter
To learn the method I use to clean my makeup brushes where you can substitute Joy for this product, click here.
Follow DROPLETS OF NATURE on Facebook here.
*product provided by brand for review
October 20, 2012 10:23 am
Bless those bellies! The following four yummy value-for-money gourmet dishes will only be around at 2nd’s for the next 10 days until October ends. Having attended the food tasting with my good friends, the owners of 2nd’s Restaurant in BGC Fort (behind Nike @ HighStreet), I can guarantee you won’t forget these 4 yummy minute steak meals when they’re gone. So make it quick and bring a friend for lunch or dinner! All dishes are Php395.00 each. (Enumerated just for the blog).
1. Minute Steak & Eggs
-Grilled and served with Ketchup Beurre Blanc and Bacon & Potato Hash.
2. Minute Bistecca Fiorentina
-Seasoned with Rosemary & Lemon. Served with Cherry Tomato & Arugula Aglio Olio on pasta
Part owners, Director Luis and his brother, top golfer Miguel Tabuena digging into Minute Bistecca Fiorentina.
Click Read more to discover the two other meals on the Minute Steak menu…
October 19, 2012 3:41 pm
Welcome to brush cleaning tutorial # 533,381 *LOL*. It’s true! There are hundreds if not thousands of brush cleaning tutorials online offered by amateurs and experts alike, not to mention a whole variety of brush cleaning sprays, fluids and cleansers available on the market. In my opinion, brush cleaning shouldn’t triple the cost of your already expensive trade as a makeup artist if you are one nor should it painfully mark up your hobby as a beauty blogger or cosmetic enthusiast. Brush cleaning is something that has to be done, as long as you own makeup brushes and use them, you must know how to clean them properly. Today, I’m going to share with you what products I use and how I’ve been cleansing my brushes as a professional. I use Make Up For Ever Brush Cleanser which contains Alcohol and Tea Tree Oil (I’ve just used up the last few spritzes, it lasted me 1 year and a half) for spot cleaning before each job and Joy Ultra Dishwashing Antibacterial Detergent (with Safeguard) for deep cleansing after every 3-4 major makeup jobs.
One of the first things that Camille, my French makeup teacher, shared is that what absolutely works brilliantly for deep brush cleansing surprisingly is the cheapest, non-moisturizing, stripping soap you can find, great plus if they’re antibacterial “Sometimes ze cheaper ze soap ze better eet iz for the brushes, just get zat really cheap soap”. Those are usually the tiny complimentary white soaps you find in resorts or hotels (she says she stocks up) or yes in my case, grease-stripping dishwashing fluid. The principle of cleaning brushes is quite straightforward and surprisingly simple and if some of you have noticed that your brush heads no longer retain the same shape or feel as when you bought them (clumped bristles that don’t snap back to shape, greasy feel, or worse funny smell) then there is certainly something wrong in the way you are cleansing them even if you are using the right products. I’m sharing this because I know, I’ve cleaned my brushes wrong a few times before. Your brushes should feel soft again once completely dry and look like new, save for perhaps some discoloration because of product. I’m not fond of brush cleaners that require you pour then SOAK brushes in them, they’re often wasteful and more expensive. Click Read More to see the two ways I use step-by-step to 1.) Spot clean my brushes and 2.) Deep clean my brushes.
…as in seriously smells like Storck Eucalyptus Menthol candies which bear an intense blast of the past for me. One whiff of this locally available hand & foot cream by Human Nature as you put it on and you will tell me “OMIGAWRSH, yes!” just as my mom and fellow bloggers did when I said so to them at a recent gathering.
Contains Eucalyptus essential oil plus oregano, spearmint, lemon balm extracts and a cooling sensation brought on by menthol, with coconut/palm derived glycerin and sunflower seed oil to hydrate hands and feet.
100% NO HARMFUL CHEMICALS – Free of parabens, mineral oil, silicones, pthalates and other toxins.
I’ll be honest when I say I wish there was more to it than its incredibly nostalgic scent, but a note on that is there’s that lemon note at the end that doesn’t quite land smoothly scent-wise, kind of like an off-tangent sour note after the refreshing whiff of eucalyptus. I put this on and I was like “Omg, Storck!” then when that moment passed I was like “Hmmm, okayyy…nothing significantly holy grail like on the skin…” It does the job of moisturizing, but not in a more impressive way than any other low to mid-range hand lotion. At the back of your mind you might feel better about it being toxin-free and smelling uniquely uplifting, but I definitely want effects that I can feel pronto and not just something to slather on. They say it’s because of “synthetic feel modifiers” that other products feel great on the skin but I don’t agree with that entirely because I have tried organic stuff that does give me supple payoff. For the price of Php130.00 , I think it’s generally a good buy, especially for people who easily experience nausea and need some aromatherapy to put on to take
dryness dizziness away. You can purchase this from the Human Nature site here, local delivery.
October 18, 2012 11:30 am
My mother just arrived from her business trip which took her to Mexico, Korea, and back. Even if the timezone change got tiring and it was for work she was actually having a lot of fun. While in Korea, her stop before coming home, she was accommodated at the Lotte Hotel World which flanked Lotte World Duty Free and for someone who isn’t really a shopper by nature, she was overwhelmed. Mom texted “Oh my gosh, Jul…you would love this store…”, and I texted back “Really, wow, you know, it’s actually better that I’m not there…” LOL. Lotte is the biggest Duty Free shop in Korea and one of the biggest Duty Free Stores in the world carrying over 500 premium brands in-store. Here’s a teaser of what she got me (she followed a list I gave her) for future reviews! They’re huddled together for a cozy group shot in Mom’s new, quite porcine Mexican mortar and pestle.
CLOCKWISE: Bourjois Healthy Balance Pressed Powder #52 (compared by some as a drugstore dupe of MAC MSF Natural), Bourjois Healthy Mix Gel Foundation Serum #52 (Lisa Eldridge loves this), Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask (reco by ViviannaLovesMakeup.com), Benefit They’re Real Mascara, MAC Harmony blush, Shu Uemura Pro Gel Concealer (the original Pro concealer was phased out ), and a worldwide favorite, Laneige’s Water Sleeping Pack (another overnight moisture cream).
Just for the sake of sharing what items I initially requested for, here’s the visual list I made for Mom which includes the items that didn’t make it back home due to availability or my regulating the budget for her (like telling her for example not to get any MAC stuff nalang from Korea, not as cheap).
I gave mom a list of 8 items, one or two weren’t available/out of stock, but she substituted items and got me around 7, including just 1 item from Mexico’s Duty Free, MAC Harmony blush. Go figure, I was asleep when she texted that she was at MAC. What was absolutely interesting about her Duty Free experience was the form of checkout. At Lotte in Korea, as a tourist you’re not allowed to bring back your items to your hotel room upon purchase. This is to prevent reselling of tax-free products within the country.
What happens in Korean duty free stores is your items are individually cleared, bubble-wrapped, sealed together in one big Ziplock cousin and are sent directly to the airport where you will reunite with them only upon your departure from Korea, as seen above in that photo I took before opening them. So beauty bloggers, hate to bust your bubble but you won’t be allowed any on-location loot shoots or tax-free product reviews on your trip if you buy from Duty Free. Mom called them quite “effie” aka efficient given that experience. What blew me away was the delightful price difference on items like the Laneige Sleeping Pack which costs something like Php1500-Php1800 locally, over there in its homeland it amounted to just about Php800-900 when converted.
October 16, 2012 10:38 pm
Sometimes, it can be a bit overwhelming (but more exciting) as time passes and products for review slowly start piling up. Because I don’t have a big room I need to have a system. This is a simple storage method for the blog that works for me, but please note this is separate from my own personal dressing table and also from the amount of products I have in my professional makeup
cruise ship kit. I practically never lose anything that has been sent to me for a review with this storage method. Products are not tucked away in drawers so I don’t forget about them, because for me “out of sight…out of mind” and beauty products expire if you know what I mean. I took the liberty late last year of purchasing around 8 or 10 of these deep storage baskets with handles from Japan Home Center’s 88/99 Peso Store…”arte” bonus, you can pull the baskets out without ruining your newly painted nails.
Baskets From Left: PERSONAL CARE (My own extras)| BATH AND BODY | NAILS | FRESH & UNREVIEWED
The 88/99 peso baskets come in varied widths but look similar enough so they look good together and do the job perfectly. As you can see they’re not unsightly to look at firing-squad style, these don’t make your shelf look like a stockroom and don’t make it look overtly fixed/organized like a Pleasantville shop display window either. Have patience with the weird in me, I don’t want to pretentiously put these products on display at home like they’re in a boutique, because they’re not…I don’t have time, they’re mine, they’re here at home, and home is chill…right? The most important basket sits patiently on the far right, containing the most current, yet-to-be reviewed stock on hand. Sprawled on top you have random things that wont fit for whatever reason but just need to be there, too. (Obsessive Compulsive readers claw at the screen…o…easy lang, your nails, hala!). At the bottom in the 2 baskets (which are not full) are odd old things that I need to shop from my stash again one day. This is what the whole bookshelf and consequently the room (the brighter side) looks like.
For what it’s worth, the location is heavily guarded by 9 lives. She’s ever ready.
By the way that top of a mango tree you see outside my window is the tree my brother planted in the garden when he was about 9 years old. He’s 16 now and look at how that tree has grown (I’m on the 2nd floor)! I’d like to end this post with something more personal. The most immediate way in which I keep my stash trimmed down to a manageable amount is with repeat generosity. When brands are generous I do my part in reviewing but also share the extra products with friends and family, and I love when I’m able to do it. What I’m blessed with often contains too much for just one person to enjoy. It ends up becoming direct marketing in its most genuine form but more importantly it makes the people I know unexpectedly happy.
October 15, 2012 6:54 pm
Nothing too fancy here by Venus & Mars Naturals, just smooth, nourishing, lip-loving ingredients and a pop of peppermint to cool those lips and keep them happy. What you’ve got is minimal hype but maximum lip comfort from a local product! It actually gives my lips that Liz Arden 8hr cream effect but it feels like my lips can breathe more. I’m kind of late on the Venus & Mars bandwagon but I’m glad I got on. I’m telling you, if you’re into minty balms it beats ChapStick with a TKO. As soon as you slide it on you’re like “Wow…”
INGREDIENTS: Emu Oil, Avocado Butter, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Castor Oil, Jojoba Wax, Peppermint Essential Oils, Beeswax, Vitamin E, and Titanium Dioxide (sorry bout the grainy photo, phone pic)
I know right, it looks plain but it’s a rich formulation and like almost every great oil we know that’s usually in great lip stuff is in it. However for you vegans out there you may be a little iffy considering this contains Emu Oil and right now from what I’ve researched there’s no guarantee that this is cruelty-free but they do certify the quality of the processed Emu Oil with the AEA Seal meaning its high-grade quality is approved and affiliated with the America Emu Association. I do personally wish that it was cruelty-free, it would’ve been a plus but I am relieved that it’s not petroleum-based. I like avocado butter and almost any skincare product with avocado rates high in my book. That cool blast of peppermint over the lip surface just adds to the whole happy lip experience. I’m not going to begin to excessively sing praises about this lip balm but applying it did get my undivided attention after my first impression of it. It’s a very comforting product to put on and I find myself reapplying it more often than I thought I would. This costs Php205 pesos and you can inquire about it here at their Multiply site or on Venus & Mars’ Facebook page.
October 14, 2012 11:59 pm
I know this is kind of strange now that my hair’s gone androgynous but I’ve never ever bought hairspray to particularly use on myself…until now because I have thick, wavy hair. Now that it’s been cut short there’s a lot of lift at the roots which is great for girls with long hair but not for someone with a pixie-do. I’m not for the Peter Pan spunky, windswept look on myself, I like my “do” looking very French and Mia Farrow-ish, sleek and set in place. When I saw this bottle of Dove Style + Care Hairspray on a shelf flanking hundreds of others at S&R I didn’t particularly understand why I was drawn to it by instinct, but I was, and I’m ever so glad I followed the beauty lioness in me. One deadly swipe and it went down…into my grocery cart.
“Strengthens your hairstyle by providing strong hold while enhancing your hair’s natural luminosity. Its fast drying formula fights frizz and fly-aways while adding body and volume. Enjoy extra hold without all the stiffness, for shiny hair with natural movement all day long.”
I agree with everything…except for the “movement” on my part LOL. Now, let me explain because of my short hair. Prior to this I was using and still sometimes use Bench Fix’s Rock & Rule matte hair wax…which is great by the way, for Php35. In fact I’m on my second pot of that stuff which took me about 1 month to consume. However with that wax product it does take a lot of art directing with the fingers for several minutes, which I don’t mind on days where I’m not rushing, and that isn’t often. This Dove hairspray costs approximately 10x more than that Bench Fix wax at about Php295-300+, but it literally is more in a different form and smells pretty with a summer berry fragrance I don’t mind at all. This product cuts my primping time by about half. With this, I basically step out of the shower, towel dry my hair, brush it down to the shape I want in under 5 minutes. When the hair is between damp and dry I then use 5-8 spritzes of this all over about 6 inches from my hair, concentrating a bit more over my stubborn cowlick that lifts up from the roots on the left side of my head and on the hair by my ears, then I brush through again before it sets. What I like about this is it holds the style that I make with the brush very well throughout the day and it isn’t a “crunchy” sort of hairspray that turns your hair into twigs. You do get just a little of the expected hairspray “stick” stiffness at after it has just set (it has to generate hold somehow), but after an hour or two, when you press in a little with your hands, pat down and smooth it with your fingers you can gently press the stiffness away and it becomes SOFT and very touchable, but your hair doesn’t lose the shape you sealed in. It’s no Elnett mind you but it’s bloody amazing in the way it works for my pixie-do, otherwise my hair would be standing fluffy and I’d probably look like a schoolboy. This also adds healthy radiance to the hair, so just note that it isn’t a super matte sort of hairspraybut in fairness it doesn’t make your hair look slick in a greasy way. Here’s a photo of me with the lovely, unsinkable Sophie Uy, owner/founder of Charm makeup brushes and the blogger behind beautynomics.com.
My best friend’s mother actually asked me how I got my hair to be “fixed” that way. She wasn’t just talking about the hair cut, she liked the soft-gloss texture and I like that she noticed because this helps lift my hair from being just a dull short cut with no definition to something more sophisticated. You can see where I concentrated the product on the sides of my head because it’s a bit more shiny but overall my hair doesn’t look like it’s being held captive like evil knievel’s helmet or the like and it looks soft. The second photo after shows me with my godson, Eli, taken at the baptism the other day. It kind of doesn’t make sense that I’m showing you these photos, I don’t speak for girls with long hair, but the only thing I can confirm for you Rapunzels out there is it gives a really nice soft texture if you spray from a distance, the nearer of course the more concentrated the spritz, the stiffer it will be. I can also test this on Mom when she arrives from her trip abroad and get some feedback from her. I don’t have the exact price with me right now, but it’s about Php295-Php350 at S&R if I’m not mistaken. This is a Dove U.S. product so I’m not 100% certain if some local groceries stock this, but if they do you’d probably have to check the imported personal care aisle.
October 12, 2012 7:42 pm
Three words…I love Laneige. I like practically everything about how this Korean brand is represented, advertised, and I like the subtle prestige of the quality I’ve tested in the boutique at Shangrila. I’ve just never been brave enough to buy anything ‘coz I didn’t need anything at the time and believe it or not this brand is totally overpriced in Singapore. I even appreciate the way the makeup on the girls in the ads is on but toned down in a classy way (check their awesome site here, choose English) . I came home yesterday with this press gift, one of Laneige’s more unique base items, the Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion compact and my experience within a span of 3-4 hours with it was kind of like a Pride and Prejudice romance. I wasn’t too keen about that dewy finish at first…yes, at first, then time DID tell. I’ll get to the details in a sec.
New-concept: Whitening + Sunscreen + Sweat-proof + Soothing + Makeup Effects SPF 50+ PA+++ (Shade 21 Natural Beige)
- Skin Types : ALL SKIN
- Size : 15G
I know what you’re thinking, looking at that you’re probably like letting out a “WTH” thought bubble. Trust me, it’s not as strange as you think and it’s not that dark on the skin, that’s just how it looks in the compact. That in there is a sponge soaked with a BB cream formula.
“Bright and Clear Whitening Care + Strong Sunscreen Effect
Contains White Plus Renew Complex™, the major ingredient of Laneige White Plus Renew, for bright and clear skin. Moreover, its SPF 50+ PA+++ formula blocks UV rays even under strong sunlight. High molecules strong against sweat and sebum form a network to create an elastic barrier on the surface of makeup to hold makeup and UV screen on for a long time. Also, highly elastic cushion powder holds up the makeup barrier that can easily be collapsed by sweat and sebum for long-lasting makeup even with one layer.“
I was supposed to show my finger afterwards but I couldn’t get a decent photo after this shot with one hand, sorry LOL. Basically I had liquid base product on my fingertip as if I had dipped it into a bottle. Read more to see how the product looks applied on my face.