Bronzer Buddies | Shedding Light on the Dark Side

Summer is actually over here in the Pacific region, the monsoons are supposed to be checking in any day now.  I’m actually dreading those first three weeks of August that always seem to bring in heavy, torrential onslaughts of rain…wreaking havoc, making floods rise, while keeping people indoors and children away from school.  However it’s been alternatively sunny this mid July, with random showers or downpours here and there, the heat still has not left us, global warming is rubbing it in, the continuous rains are usually in by June but they’re not here yet.  I find it kind of late in the game that I’ve suddenly fallen head first (literally) into an area of beauty that’s never interested me, and given that the idea of actual fake tanning was a juggernaut of a commitment to make… (waiting to naturally be fair again is blech, plus unnaturally adjusting my personal pigment scares me a bit) makeup was the answer for now.

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CLOCKWISE: MAC (Ltd. Edition) Pro Longwear Bronzing Powder in Soft Sand, Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder in 00, Makeup Factory (BGC HighStreet) Mineral Compact Powder in #6, and Diorskin Nude TAN BB Creme in 002 (Ltd. Edition S/S 2013)

I’ve only dabbled in contouring, never fully with bronzing which carefully sculpts plus adjusts your complexion as a whole.  I was scared of the earthy stuff, but it intrigued me no end to see my mother hit pan on her bronzer compacts time and time again…she hates blush but loves her bronzers.  Plus the numerous anecdotes of makeup noobs committing to only use bronzer, lip tint, mascara and nothing else while still raking in compliments really had me stumped.  Makeup minimalists more often than not use a bronzer.  I’ve always appreciated the compliments on how naturally fair I am, but I was bored with that.  I had to get the “white edge” off and get a bit of joie d’ vivre  rubbed into my face, to get that you just had to look like the sun-kissed child who’d been to accumulating destinations.  I discovered that bronzer was able to do exactly that for women like me.  In a span of about two months I’ve collected three bronzers (one was an unexpected gift) plus made use of a mineral powder that was too dark for me in the same way, that makes four.  They’re my new favorites.  I was suddenly appreciating and enjoying the possibilities my fairness presented for the first time, for when you are fair you can choose to go dark and in increments that please you, and that’s exactly what I’ve been up to.  To present these to you I slapped on my most recently purchased truly matte foundation (more on that some other day hehe) so they’d glide on more seamlessly.  Read more to see why I like these four products and how I randomly use them, please note this won’t be a complete lesson on contouring but some tips will be mentioned.… Read the rest

Za True White Liquid Foundation SPF25 | Dewy Definition Done Right, for Php595

I am sooo psyched that Asian drugstore brand Za Cosmetics (parented by Shiseido) has returned to Philippine shores, the global mega brand once made waves locally in the 90s but it was shortlived, there was even a TV ad on MTV, but frankly, we were just not as interested back then.  Mom and I are particularly fond of Za’s base products, especially their 2-Way foundation compact and she would ask me to buy this for her in either Hong Kong or Singapore back then before we discovered the IN2IT compact locally.  I was invited as a blogger to attend the Za launch yesterday at SM Aura and I did come away with a couple of freebies but to avail of the 20% off discount I did make one purchase, especially after trying this out at the makeup station.  I simply just…could…not…resist owning yet another liquid foundation, but like we all do, I have my reasons.  By the way, the name True White I think sucks because in no way is this going to make you “white” don’t worry about that, it just provides coverage and UV protection.  Think of it this way…Chanel Vitalumiere/YSL Touche Eclat foundation  dupe for Php595?  After the 20% discount offer I got it for Php476 at the launch.

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“Achieves a pearly white finish…” (not really but that’s okay, coz that’s not the point naman) with Bright White Complex and Vitamins C & E

You get 30ml of product in a glass bottle (which reminds me of the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation bottle) with a pump. I have a love-hate relationship with foundations that contain SPF, but this one I truly like.  During the daytime you can be ever so glad foundations with UV protection provide it, but come nighttime any foundation with an SPF level above 20 is a high risk for facial flashback in photos with flash, at 25 though it’s possible that this might still be okay.  My Shiseido perfect refining foundation that was SPF24 didn’t give me problems.  Za Cosmetics makes wonderful Asian skin shades for light to medium complexions, they offer a more neutral series of shades that begin with “P” and the spot on yellow undertoned shades that begin with “O”.  My current shade in this is OC20 which is like a fair medium (looks like a MAC NC30 shade in the bottle but after a few minutes oxidizes/deepens to an NC35) but in a week or two when my slight tan fades I’ll be an OC10 which will oxidize and settle to a MAC NC30 shade.  Given that I have normal skin that isn’t oily I’m blessed with the flexibility and option to use dewy foundations, if I don’t want to have as much sheen I simply lightly powder over the T-zone with some blot powder or translucent setting powder.  In these photos however I don’t have any powder on.

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This is how I look like with the foundation on in a dim room on a cloudy day, by the window.  The coverage on this foundation is light to medium and matches the texture of Revlon’s Nearly Naked foundation which I tested when I was in Europe.  There is some detectable shimmer in this but it’s tastefully part of the mix.  At first when I was shooting for this I was a little bit frustrated with the lighting at home, when the sun hid behind the clouds it got pretty dim.  The foundation’s lovely finish still came out okay on camera though as you can see above and I was like “Great, it’s nice”…and then SUDDENLY (cue Mr. Bean)…the sun filled the room and I was even more beside myself with glee. … Read the rest

The NEW Clinique Dramatically different Moisturizer +

Years ago I didn’t like the original formula of this now updated moisturizer when I first tried it…it was kinda okay, but it felt heavy and even slightly greasy on my skin before…and BEFORE, it gave me a mild allergic reaction. The big news that has circled the globe is that Clinique bravely took their well-loved Dramatically Different Moisturizer and gave it a + symbol…indicative of a well-researched reformulation. Big, brave move.

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For the DD moisturizer devotees Clinique have kindly kept the consistency and appearance on application the same but have now introduced a swig of advanced botanicals + (Hello!) hyaluronic acid. After practically a decade since my first encounter with this moisturizer Clinique PH sent me an exclusive lab sample last week. Guess what…I didn’t expect it to be what it now is, which is dramatically incredible, my skin can breathe. I only need short of a peasize dot for the whole face and thanks to the hyaluronic acid I instantly felt the non-greasy boost of hydration FROM MORNING TO NIGHT TO THE NEXT MORNING, I did cleanse mind you but I felt the hydration hanging on like crazy just from just 1 application…the finish also feels like a great primer for makeup. The new DD Moisturizer + dries matte to the touch after 15-20mins but you still feel supple hydration across the skin surface the whole day. Both mom and I road tested it and agreed. It offers light, long wearing hydration and it’s fragrance free. I absolutely positively like this. It’s a no brainer choice if you prefer a high end moisturizer and if you’re one of those like me who’d rather not fiddle with a hyaluronic step before moisturizer on certain days this kills 2 birds with 1 stone. Good job, Clinique! Um, I’ll edit in the price later today.… Read the rest

My Top 5 Skincare Products (Plus 2 Subs) | Updated Skincare July 2013 & a Cheatsheet

I’ve decided to not include sunscreen and makeup remover in this post and decided to focus on the following steps that I have chosen to generally follow for the past few months : Cleanse, Exfoliate (1x-2x a week), Tone,  Nourish (3x-5x a week), and Moisturize.  Plus I know what you’re thinking, you’re like “but those are 7 items in the photo!”.  For moisturizer and cleanser you’ll notice they’re double-decked in the shot meaning you can substitute the product on top for the product below and vice-versa (also because I wanted to give local options).  Thus, that makes the real working arsenal a total of 5 essential items.

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L to R: NIVEA Baby Smoothy Cream, ORIGINS Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask ( just an overnight cream), CLARINS Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner (w/ Tamarind), Le Couvent Des Minime – Gentle Rose  Cleansing Milk (Mineral Oil-Free), Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa (Malunggay) Cleansing Balm, Moringa O2 Malunggay Herbal Facial Toner, PAI London Rosehip BioRegenerate Facial Oil (Bazaar Beauty Awards 2011) Pls. bear in mind I don’t use all these every day.  I generally do Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize 3 steps/3items on a daily basis…then the Exfoliate and Nourish steps only 1-2x a week.

I’ve concisely written my thoughts on each item below but I’ve also linked any individual reviews I’ve already done to the product names in case you want to know more and see close up photos of the products.  I’ve also provided a sort of scheduled skincare cheat sheet at the end of the blog post to show you what my week in skincare kinda looks like, I really tried to think honestly at the end about how I’ve rounded up the use of my skincare picks. Read more to get to the product breakdown and how I get around to using each of them.… Read the rest

My Top 5 Drugstore Foundations | As of July 2013

Everyone loves a bargain and if you’re constantly on the hunt for affordable foundations that won’t break you out, have decent coverage, and have acceptable shade ranges then drugstore brands today have a lot to offer!  It’s a highly competitive market globally in the drugstore beauty industry and even if we don’t always get the full “all-you-can-eat” buffet of compelling drugstore ranges that the U.S. and EU have there are more imported makeup brand selections today locally than ever before, at least from what I observe.

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CLOCKWISE: Revlon Colorstay Foundation 24-hrs (Combination-Oily skin), L’Oreal Lucent Magique Light Infusing Foundation SPF24, IN2IT Oil-Free 2-Way Powder Foundation SPF25, MaxFactor Miracle Touch Liquid Illusion (cake) Foundation, Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation

I still do wonder why only a minority super noticed when fave brands Urban Decay (not drugstore, indie) and Za cosmetics were available locally (ahhhh, social media, we needed you then), what were we thinking when we let them leave?!!  Anyway, here are my local picks from the drugstore price makeup ranges.  These are foundations that have really impressed me and I that I do use on rotation depending on the kind of finish I want.  Note to everyone L’Oreal True Match foundation almost made it to the list but I like the Maybelline Dream Liquid texture better.  If you’ve got a deeper skin tone don’t have a shade among the six available in Dream Liquid then the L’Oreal Match range will probably have your shade.  Read more to get to my specific thoughts on each one.… Read the rest

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