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.  Brace yourself…

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Holy wow…I nearly gasped at myself or er…the finish when I finally cropped the photo and after matching the colors to real life.  I’m also wearing the Za Plumper Lips lipcolor in Rose Vintage which is best described as something like the Clarins Instant Light Perfector lipglosses in lipstick form or glorified, sheeny lip butters.  Heart, heart, heart.  I’ve got no highlighter nor contour on here but Za’s True White Liquid foundation provides enough dewy definition so I can skip excessive contouring or highlighting.

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When it comes to lasting power I’ve had this on for 3 hours so far and it’s pretty good considering I was sweating quite a bit here at home during the 2nd hour.  It feels like it’s gonna last for a good 3-4 hours more though I can’t speak for if I’m actively sweating the whole time.  I’d safely say I recommend this for people with normal to dry skin, not people with oily skin.  Good stuff, really good stuff and once it sets the finish is sheeny but not sticky.  Honestly speaking if you’ve got troubled, spotty skin, this may not be enough to cover the unmentionables so a good concealer is essential or perhaps a foundation with more coverage.  Overall this is a wonderful dewy drugstore foundation now made available for Php595 at select Watsons beauty halls in SM department stores.

 

 … To full post & COMMENTS...

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.… To full post & COMMENTS...

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.… To full post & COMMENTS...

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.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Hurraw! Earl Grey Tea Lip Balm | A Major Fave, Simple, Vegan & Cold Pressed

By far this has to be the best non-minty, handy lip balm I’ve ever EVER tried, as in…it’s uniquely yum and fragrant plus unlike petrolatum balms this is  actually good stuff for lips in a small, no fuss tube.  It delivers in a way that causes you to second glance it.  After putting it on I’ll bet you’ll be like “Wow, where’ve you been half my life?”.  Thanks to Rebecca and the team over at Cutieverse for bringing in the Hurraw lip balm range from the U.S. which is full of thoughtful flavors, currently not in retail but soon to be made available at Aura Athletica and Beyond Yoga branches.  On their website these retail for under $4.00 (Php170 approx.) I’m hoping the price hike isn’t too big once these pop out in local retail because my golly I’ll be repurchasing this if I can for a couple of years I already foretell.  Check out the U.S. HURRAW site showing the lots lovely flavors available here!

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We all have to accept the fact that petrolatum lip balms only temporarily smooth and do not help or relieve dry chapped lips.  Like Caroline Hirons said, with petrolatum (Vaseline for example) lip balms you  keep repeatedly doing it over and over over the lips for anything to stay unchapped.  Makeup artists use Vaseline as a “lip lubricant” it’s a temporary fix for shooting purposes but it doesn’t really do anything for your lips.  This one does, and I super duper like it.

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“Love tea? We do!
We added the soothing, distinctive and uplifting scent of cold pressed oil from Italian Bergamot oranges
to make our earl grey Balm heavenly. Quickly becoming a favorite amongst Hurrawers!
With green tea, chai spice, and earl grey to choose between you’ll be ‘loving tea’ all day long.

INGREDIENTS:

Sweet Almond Oil, Candelilla Wax, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Coco Seed Butter, Castor Seed Oil, Olive Fruit Oil, Bergamot Peel Oil, and Vitamin E  (premium organic, vegan, and raw ingredients). “Organic / Cold Pressed/ Wildcrafted”

This topped my favorite V&M Lip Balm a mint flavor which contained emu oil, that was lovely and chilling on the lips but I kept thinking about the emus and that one easily melted and made a mess.  Hurraw lip balms have a similar “instant comfort” effect after gliding smoothly over the lips, being super comforting and actually naturally nourishing and sinking into the skin surface with natural oils without the minty sensation (although Hurraw does have a Mint variant locally blogged by Kira of Kira-Ramirez.com). I almost requested for a handful of the fruity flavors (which I’m sure rock as well) but THIS…this Earl Grey Tea lip balm flavor infused with other teas and Italian Bergamot orange…OH MYGAWRSH…

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What the Hurraw Staff Have to Say:

“Super smooth, not draggy, not sticky, not sweet, not too glossy, not too smelly, never grainy, long lasting;
plus, it had to hold up to being in a back jeans pocket all day without melting! It took us several obsessed years to formulate Hurraw! Balm and put it through all the rigors.
We love it, use it, and hope you do too. 

We individually pour each tube of Hurraw! Balm in our own facility.
The quality and integrity of our product is a top priority and we feel Hurraw! is the finest all natural, vegan, raw balm available…
a great product to be used by everyone regardless of lifestyle or eating habits.

By the way I shot this little lip balm at tea time in the 530pm afternoon sun just for a personal touch.  Corny much?  Just high-five me for the effort, lol.  If you’ve got an online store and would like to help spread Hurraw love locally and sell or purchase these please do and contact Rebecca Pilapil via this email: rebecca@cutieverse.com and check out the Cutieverse.com site.  These are seriously sooo good.… To full post & COMMENTS...

My Top 5 High End Foundations | As of June 2013

We’re bringing in the heavy hitters.  I’ve never done a Top 5 luxe foundations review simply because before beginning my makeup career I didn’t own any high end foundations and before last year I owned only 2 or 3.  These are foundations that I’ve used on myself and worked with and while I wouldn’t repurchase all of them constantly because of the price I truly believe in their quality.

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Now, I’m happy to say I’ve made quota for a decent feature, it just happened to be about time I talked about my favorite luxury foundations in a nutshell.  They’ll be mentioned in no particular order or rank because they all function differently. Read more to get to the short and sweet individual descriptions, and I’ll also be linking the full blog reviews I’ve made on the blog to each foundation title.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Shiseido Luminizing Satin Eyecolor Trio in RD299 “Beach Grass”

Beach days are slowly floating away, but these rich colors are here to stay.  Some of my blogger friends wondered why I didn’t keep my previous Shiseido Eyecolor Trio “Pink Sands”…well for one, I wanted to give something special to you guys for Spring, so I gave it away, and 2 because I preferred the palette in this colorway, RD 299 Beach Grass…reminiscent of those tropical summer sunsets.

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If you’ve ever found yourself giving up on shimmer in your thirties (yea, watch me embrace my big three oh! lol) or even your late twenties that’s because many shimmery eyeshadow compacts out there are haphazardly bad to work with.  They’ve often got tons of fallout and knockout chunks of sparkle that on occasion may not be sophisticated or even enhance wrinkles and fine lines.  It’s all forgivable to just sit on those shimmer shades and slap on everything matte to be safe but let me throw this curve-ball at you.  There’s actually nothing like a bit of properly placed, high quality satin shimmer to draw out a bit of youth around those weary eyes.  Lisa Eldridge hardly ever holds back on shimmer in her tutorials on herself, and she’s in her early 40s!  The key is to use an eye primer you don’t get fall out, find the sort of eyeshadow shimmer texture that will not fail you and not put it beyond a certain point, and do your base AFTER your eyes so you can clean up around the eye.  Read more to sort of (coz it’s not video…meh) see this eyecolor trio in action!… To full post & COMMENTS...

Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation | My Drugstore Dream Foundie at Php599

Maybelline, seriously this time you hit one out of the park, it just sailed right over.  You’ve just made me very happy.  I’ve had holy grail /slash/ fave drugstore foundations in the past but they were not THIS GOOD.   This Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse in PARTICULAR is sooo nice and I had a hands-on meeting with it at the Maybelline Dream Perfection launch last week.  Thanks a ton, Maybelline!

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Urban Outfitters top, Roxy shorts, Anteprima bag, “Dreamy” me…lol (slow solo clap).  I’m wearing Maybelline (UK) 14-hr lipstick in Stay With Me Coral, not available here.

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Model wearing Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation

I actually made the 2nd half of the post title “My Koh Gen Doh Aqua Dupe at Php599″ (yes, it’s that good…to me) but I figured they wouldn’t appreciate another brand sharing the title if I liked the foundation this much, so it stays here in the post.  The only problem I foresee here is the product name Dream Liquid Mousse  is sort of a bummer because it’s not inherently like a mousse at all this one, the name ends up being too similar to a previous Maybelline mousse foundation which was NOT REALLY a hit, the whipped mousse-y one in the pot which lots of people disliked.  This is not that one, this one is good.

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It comes in the standard issue glass bottle containing 30ml but to top it off (literally) you get a bottle cap you can twist clockwise and LOCK…then twist counter-clockwise to enable pumping.  Hallelujah.  Someone actually thought this through for our benefit.  Do not fear, this is not  a mousse “foam” foundation…like I said the name totally misleads, but it’s good.  Test it for yourself at Maybelline counters today, you will be surprised. The foundation glides on with medium coverage and is comfy to wear (Tip: I wear foundation from the center of my face outwards so i have hardly any foundation near the edges of my face and hairline, then I don’t feel yuck at the end of the day).  This is a water based formula and gently hydrates with glycerin, it of course it does have a cocktail of silicones in it (most foundies do anyway) but it’s formulated so well ‘coz my skin didn’t feel like it couldn’t breathe.  I was seriously quiet and staring at the mirror speechless when I first put this on at home, it was perfect.  My shade Sandy Beige (Med 1) was a spot on match for my post summer skin.

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This is the same photo from my Shiseido blush post yesterday where I wore this foundation.  I just brightened the shot and lessened contrast to closely match how I saw this foundation.  First off, please let’s not call it a MATTE foundation, if you lightly dust it with translucent loose setting powder it might possibly be matte but otherwise it’s not, almost but not.  It’s a satiny semi-matte for normal to combination skin but this won’t be a matte finish for oily skin, it doesn’t really boast oil control so it will get dewy in the middle of the day along the T-zone unless you powder up or blot to retouch.  If you’ve got normal to dry skin  this will be fine.  It is kind of like a silkier, smoother, lighter version of L’Oreal True Match without any detectable shimmer in the mix and NO SCENT whatsoever.  I’m wondering if this might be similar to the recently phased out Jemma Kidd Light As Air foundation, which looks and sounds similar when Anna of Vivianna Does Makeup describes it…so many girls in the UK were gutted about that brand folding.

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In the Dream Liquid range you get a generous selection of 6 shades locally, 3 or 4 of which have warm Asian undertones and the other 2 shades are pretty neutral. My Dream Liquid Mousse shade at the moment is Sandy Beige (Medium 1, or MAC NC35) which has a yellow enough undertone and when I become paler before the Ber months I’ll be Nude Beige (Light 3.5, or MAC NC30) which is a hint more neutral than Sandy beige and only 1/4 of a shade lighter.  Overall I like the silky, airy-light finish by a knuckle-crackin’ good liquid foundation and the texture of Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse really reminds me of my Koh Gen Doh Aqua Foundation (which is an A-lister fave…slapped on by Liv Tyler, or Rumi Neely).  I’m brave and confident enough to say that the foundation texture is similar to Koh Gen Doh Aqua (for a fraction of the price, Php599 vs. Php2750?!) and gives a completely healthy looking semi-matte finish for normal to dry skin.  I wore this for a whole day and didn’t get greasy or weird bits rubbing  off.  It set really well so late in the evening it felt a bit tight, just a bit but that just meant it was about time I got all my makeup off.  The foundation is a win, and so is the twist-lock bottle cap, no more misplaced or cracked caps.  This lovely foundation costs Php599 in retail via Maybelline kiosks or counters in Watsons pharmacies and department stores.

*products provided for review by Maybelline PhilippinesTo full post & COMMENTS...

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