Le Couvent Des Minime Gentle Cleansing Milk | Mineral Oil-free, Made in France, Available Here

After my recent counter with the UK’s acclaimed Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm I’ve come to the conclusion that it is lovely and luxurious in itself and does what Caroline Hirons says but it’s a pain in the ass to put up with locally in a tropical climate, simply because you have to keep it refrigerated so it doesn’t melt and you have to twist open a pot to scoop it out with a spatula or fingers to get cleansing.  Once you’ve come home real sleepy, that’s not gonna happen.  I will be finishing it up then I think I’ll be finished with it.  The product itself is completely lovely on the skin but not made to survive warm climates so I knew I most likely would not be repurchasing it due to the fiddle-faddle inconvenience it brings, apart from local inavailability.  We all know that skincare guru Caroline Hirons approves of non-foaming cleansers and although non-mineral oil cleansing balms are her top choice she has approved and said “Cleansing Milks are okay”.  She also approves of Cetaphil since it’s basic and doesn’t foam but the lady in me still wanted something souped up with more natural ingredients, non-greasy hydration, and feminine flair.  I currently stumbled upon this relatively new brand at Watsons Megamall, Le Couvent Des Minime (“Lurhh KooVahn Dei Mineemh” hear & learn pronunciation here at this link) which is a more affordable French brand absorbed by L’Occitane as a sister/daughter brand.  I got this out of curiosity and the operating word “Mineral Oil-Free”…and I didn’t expect this but because it was so convenient since you just squeeze it out of a bottle I ended up using it more than my Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm since I didn’t need to make trips to the refrigerator any more.




“Gently removes makeup…face, lips, and eyes…formula without Mineral Oil”

Key Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Grape Seed Oil, beneficial kinds of Rose Water, Rose Seed Oils, and Rose Flower Extracts, and Vitamin E.   Mineral Oil-Free and Paraben Free. Made in France.


They’ve also got a “Rinse Off Cleansing Cream”, I got both but this Gentle Cleansing Milk won over that one.  The Rinse Off  Rose Cleansing Cream made me gag from the scent that was too strong for my liking, the Gentle Cleansing Milk has a WAY MILDER rose scent.  This Cleansing Milk is really exciting for me to cleanse with because it takes off the makeup and leaves a soft fresh, not heavy, hydrated feeling behind.


I also like that the Cleansing Milk in real life is not pure white in color (which is such an artificial thing) the cleansing milk is the lightly creamy color of condensed milk which makes me believe it isn’t artificially colored.  My camera could only catch the cream color in the bottle.


I found that this Gentle Cleansing Milk of theirs not only smelt mildly enough of roses but happens to be Mineral Oil and Paraben Free.  The brand promotes “natural,original recipes” concocted by Franciscan Monks, proceeds of which originally went to charity.  While I’m all for a bit of history I just simply like that this takes off makeup (except waterproof mascara), it’s mineral-oil free, when you mix water onto it it turns into a milk wash over the face that short of emulsifies and gives a similar supple finish as the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm.  While it’s got more of a high-street price at Php800.00 for 200ml you get a lot of product for that cost.  I use a 5 peso coin size dollop of this on my face, massage with fingers on skin, and then another dollop on a cotton pad to help move and unseat all the makeup first (if I don’t choose to use Bioderma)  then I repeat for a thorough cleanse…you can wipe it all off with a wet face towel (to keep more hydration on) or if you still want to rinse with water you obviously can since this seems to slightly emulsify.  I follow with my Moringa O2 Malunggay Toner to make sure my face is completely clean.  If you’re not a fan of rose scents don’t get this…stick with Cetaphil (but that doesn’t remove makeup well apart from cleansing).  Le Couvent Des Minime have lots of other products available in the range packaged in “L’Occitanesque” fashion.  In my opinion they’re a bit hard to market locally here in the Philippines simply because the labels are not just cluttered, they’re cluttered with French…but the packaging is still very classy and nice to look at.  This Gentle rose Cleansing Milk costs Php799.00 exactly at select SM Watsons stores (the bigger ones, Makati, MOA, Megamall should surely have brand kiosks…Southmall maybe).

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M & Co. Long Lasting Matte Lipsticks | Plus My Perfect Coral Lipstick

Ola!  Here I am, about to feature the best drugstore priced lipsticks I’ve encountered in a department store.  After my recent frustration with Maybelline’s “Bold Matte” lipstick range I concluded only for awhile that Wet & Wild Megalast matte lipsticks were the only available products worthy enough to be called top drugstore matte lipsticks locally…but their lipstick tubes suck and I have cleaned up a mess of lipstick in my pouch as a result.  Apart from the cheap packaging, the Wet & Wild ones are pretty good or maybe even perhaps the Jordana matte range.  However, Jordana is inconsistently available in local “Dollar Stores” and if you think about it those are both US brands.  Today I’ve got some lovely Filipino lipsticks to rave about.  M & Co., a direct selling Filipino fashion brand endorsed by the lovely Mikee Cojuangco, have been around for a long time supplying clothes and apparel.  Their cosmetic range has been around for a year or two but it seems like it’s only been a few weeks or months since they suddenly were made available in department stores.


All 3 lipsticks you see here are M & Co. matte lipsticks.  The two colors behind (“Scarlet” and “Blazing Coral”) which cost Php170 are from the cheaper range and the Php200 gold one in front is the nude shade “Biscuit” from the Eur Color Collection.  The M & Co. Eur collection is a mixed more luxe-ly packaged collection of frosted, matte, and satin shades with smaller, elegant lipstick bullets.

I never saw this range in public retail before so bite me if they’ve been there awhile.   These look glossy on the outside only when they’re brand new but upon use they lose that outer sheen and they’re matte lipsticks through and through.  Along with this range I also discovered my absolutely PERFECT spot on coral lipstick, Blazing Coral.




Before I mention any of the others I have to begin with this particular matte shade from the cheaper range, which even topped my ecstatic encounter with the also lovely Maybelline 14-hr shade, Stay With Me Coral, (a cooler hued coral).  M & Co.’s Blazing Coral is the perfect could-have-been bright warm coral that’s been subdued just enough but not too much (so it isn’t Grandma) and as a result it still makes a pretty bold statement on my lips without waxing garish against my MAC NC30 skin.  It’s kind of like an ever so slightly pinked up version of the repeatedly sold out lipstick Clinique Runway Coral (which is more orange but has a similar coral tone).  This shade in my opinion could look good on skins as deep as NC40, but it would probably behave like a medium coral nude against tanner skin.  Click read more to see more photos of the other shades and see my kiss test after blotting to check just how matte these can really get.… To full post & COMMENTS...

My ZARA Red Lip Shirt | My “Dupe” for that PRADA Dress!

Happy Indie Day, FilipiNas and No-s!  Most of my long time readers know I’m all over renowned MUA Lisa Eldridge’s channel like a rash and I know she inspires a lot of other women as well.  She is my ultimate inspiration in an earthly person when it comes to my makeup career.  There is also something I really like that she uses often… it isn’t a tube of lipstick but it’s still got “makeup” written all over it.


It’s Lisa’s  red lipped PRADA dress which she first saw whenworn by Michelle Williams on British Elle in 2010 (this was also worn by French actress Lea Seydoux) and then she went out and bought the same one.   I happened to be in ZARA last month, a place that I mentally mark with a DO NOT ENTER on most days of the month.  This day however I was really badly on the hunt for some clothes, comfortable clothes, and lo and behold…among the cheaper racks I spotted this cotton top.  I’m pretty chuffed to have it, it fits me like a glove :).



The lips aren’t printed exactly the same but the pattern flatters me and I like that it’s sort of a younger version of what she’s wearing. I also like that some of the lips are bleeding lipcolor…ooh!


Ugh, I’m currently trying to remember the price, all I remember is I smiled because it was about Php599 or was it Php799?  I’m 100% sure it was way under Php1000 because I took it immediately and went to pay for it.  Walking out of ZARA with this one not too expensive item made me feel like I was walking out with ten!… To full post & COMMENTS...

Lenticular Ladies, Double Mirror Compacts | Budget Buys at Metro Gaisano

So I fussed and hissed trying to Google for what to call that old school technology we 80s kids know oh, so very well. You know, plasticized sheets that toggle only 2 images delivering simple animation…enough to lure out a smile.  They happen to be lenticular plastic sheets and they’ve been around for what seems like forever.  I happened to be strolling around Metro Gaisano department store in Market Market yesterday and found these super cool double mirror compacts (1 regular side, 1 magnifying) for Php69 each with anime-ish lenticular veneers on them (I picked several out for friends, too). The compacts have a firm stub of a button to push the compact open, they’re lightly heavy-ish in weight and not loosely constructed…w-i-n.







Of course this one is my favorite one so I show her off first.  I love how she gently pouts a lightly glossed mouth when she closes her eyes.  There were probably about 10 to 15 different girl designs to choose from.  These weren’t love at first sight because honestly some of the dolly-ish faces (the toddler ones especially which I DID NOT get) were kinda scary but I fished through all the racks to find the cool-ish ones which I felt would not freak me out nor send me fleeing in fear if I caught them blinking back at me in the evening LOL.  I just find these actually useful compact mirrors trippy, artsy, and chic.  They remind me of some of the concept artwork found on sites like Ballistic Publishing by digital artists like Melanie Delon.  Read more to see a few more photos and the inside of the compact.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm | Cleansing Reinvented, C. Hirons’ Personal Choice

Meet the cleansing balm that sent UK bloggers swarming into Space NK (England’s version of Sephora) shortly after advanced facialist and brand consultant C. Hirons of the blog Beautymouth repeatedly blogged over a year and a half ago that this is her personal cleansing choice, especially for evening.  Recently, Caroline outright put Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm up first on her featured products via Pixiwoo’s BodyTalk interview with her on YouTube.  I’d like a moment to segue into some emulsifying cleanser insight.



  • 1 x Natural Lift & Moringa Cleansing Balm (100ml) – enriched with an uplifting blend of moringa seeds, wild sea fennel, vitamin E, orange, neroli and mandarin, jasmine and rose.
  • 1 x dual-sided cleansing cloth (100% cotton on muslin side; 80% polyester, 20% polyamide on microfibre side)

 How to use:

  • Mix a few drops of warm water with a little Moringa Cleansing Balm in the palm of your hand to create a milk
    Apply to the face, neck and eye area using circular motions and massage thoroughly to melt away make-up, excess oils and grime
  • To remove, soak your cleansing cloth in warm water, squeeze out the excess and gently wipe over the whole face and neck, taking extra care around the delicate eye area
  • Use the gently abrasive muslin side of the cloth to exfoliate dry, lined, thickened and congested areas and the smoother microfibre side for more delicate and sensitive areas

People are familiar with the globally popular Shu Uemura cleansing oil and some of us were dashed to pieces to find that it wasn’t at all recommended by C. Hirons, in fact she shot it down.  I actually realized on my own, without knowing who Ms.Hirons was yet,  that the Shu cleansing oil wasn’t good for me because for the very first time last year I looked at the ingredients list…practically at the top of the list was Paraffinum Liquidum aka Mineral Oil.  The world’s most popular cleansing oil turned out to be souped up mineral oil made to emulsify with water, I could hardly believe it and I was irritated to say the least because I did like how Shu’s oil performed but I did wonder why my skin felt like it felt smothered when I’d lay it on.  You can’t blame them because they were among the first generation of emulsifying cleansing oils and they participated in beauty innovation…even top UK brand Eve Lom’s most popular cleansing cream contains mineral oil as a huge part of the base so these were the pioneer products.  Research has found that mineral oil isn’t particularly ideal at bringing down the nourishment into the skin so I think it’s time for long-time faves to up the ante and update their formulations.


Well, the first thing our currently fave online facialist says about this Emma Hardie gem here is that it’s a non-mineral oil cleansing balm.  It’s a more solid balm but it melts and emulsifies in the same milky way the Shu cleansing oil does when water hits it.  However, this does the same job with a bang on formula that’s ultimately better for your skin.  Moringa for your mug shot anyone?  Emma Hardie is an English brand that’s being doing wonderful things with formulations using moringa (malunggay).  Being the determined diva I am I sourced my own pot and paid only Php50 customs pickup tax for it.  The new rule at the Makati Post Office is that parcels above $50 USD in value will be taxed heavily so make sure whatever you’re buying online is under $50 USD.  That explains why I only got the 50ml pot (which will last me 3 mos. anyway), it cost £15.99 with £6 shipping, totaling about ($35) Php1450.  Read more to get to the full post.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Snoe Beauty Bar Soaps, 3 New Ones | Better Ingredients = Relevant Body Care

Okay who ISN’T still hooked on all of Caroline Hirons’ recommendations and notes on proper skincare?  No show of hands?  I sound like a broken record.  I thought so, she’s won us over…we’ve been bit real good by her skin scolding so half the planet has been having a look through their skincare wardrobe and doing a rehash.  Caroline mentions what she knows and believes our skin needs and doesn’t need quite often in this video with Pixiwoo.  She may not agree with me because in this post I am talking about SOAP, but I’ll explain first.  I think proudly Pinoy brand Snoe Beauty’s cold-pressed soaps have something good ongoing because they’re not just soaps, they’re soaps with better ingredients.  The advanced facialist and brand consultant, Caroline Hirons is herself a soap-free advocate but from what I gather is she stresses her soap-free mandate  exceedingly more for the face, so I’m recommending these primarily for the body.   All this frilly (but facially relevant) fuss about soap-free though does have a limit and boundary I think, like for example if and when one day we’re not all comfortably sitting in clean houses with the world constantly turning day by day.  I won’t lie, I’d make a mad dash for a bar of good ol’ soap should World War Z happen (God forbid)…wouldn’t you?  All of you who just said “No” get a slow butt slap from me.



“Snoe Beauty Bars are made from fresh high grade ingredients to provide superior results.  Our soaps are made with  dermatologist-approved formulas to ensure that our beauty bars are hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and safe for everyday use.  Proudly Philippine Made” PHP199.00 (purchased from the kiosk in Cinderella g/f, Glorietta)

I’m not completely ANTI-SOAP when it comes to body cleansing and once-in-a-while facial cleansing (if I’m completely grimy).  I mean check it out, I just asked Gary Valenciano’s beautiful, Puerto Rican mother, Grimi (Mamita to me), last January what her beauty secret was and it baffled me and her that she said “You know Hija, this is funny and they told me it’s bad, but I just wash with soap, and before…not now, oil of Olay cream at night…but my goodness cream, not all the time even.  They kept telling me I should not wash with soap…but that’s what I did ever since, and I didn’t have a problem hahaha.”  So I think, unless we’re talking about babies, for me washing with soap sometimes is permissible as long as I don’t break out and I just remember to moisturize after.  For me what matters is that the soap contains a ton more of good stuff to rave about.  So heads up, these soaps ARE soaps and contain some probably diluted lye solution, if that bothers you don’t get these, but I like them very much for body cleansing.  I’ve also tested these soaps on an area of my face and speaking for myself (not for all of you), they’re mildy scented with natural ingredients and I didn’t itch or break out.  Read more to learn more about each soap and find out which one I sort of like the most for now.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara (Waterproof) | They Say It’s Infamous, See What I Think

To be honest, Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof, the popular US drugstore mascara, was my very, very first purchase on Ebay 4 years ago. I made the mistake of purchasing the BIG washable variant, that one really wouldn’t stay on the whole day but prior to that first purchase I had already tried a tube of the waterproof one and that worked well for me. The thing is, the waterproof variant holds curl exceedingly well. Here it is in updated packaging with the white “Waterproof” stamp near the bottom.



I happen to think that what turns people off is the screwy wand which doesn’t do much for big lashes, it’s fine for smaller eyes like mine…I find it easy to art direct my lashes with, but that’s me…it might not work for you. I think this is why some people prefer to get the curved waterproof variant which comes with a denser curved brush…wait a minute does that variant still exist? I only see the curved washable one on the site. Anyway…Great Lash waterproof also happens to be the mascara that Regine Velasquez used on her wedding day, the day she made herself up. I saw the behind the scenes photos. So why is it popular among artists locally? I personally noticed it has excellent curl holding power for women like myself with smaller eyes and less dense lashes and it doesn’t make lashes look spidery.

GL_mascara_03 GL_mascara_05



The volume Great Lash gives is not vavavoom volume, it’s everyday wearable volume that’s noticeable. I like putting this on if I don’t want to look too made up but aim to look better than what I look like fresh out of bed. I slept overnight with just this on to test it (only I’m allowed lol) and it lasted without smudging everywhere. Waterproof mascara variants always hold curl better as I have observed. I’ve seen this for a fact having used L’Oreal False Lash Telescopic in both the waterproof and regular versions, the regular one didn’t hold curl for more than 5 minutes. It’s possible that the same chemical that prevents mascara pigment from smudging when wet also holds lash curl longer. There’s also a slim possibility that Great Lash works and looks better in humid climates than in dry climates, I haven’t met a hater here locally just yet but there are so many beauty insiders who hate this mascara online in Europe and in the U.S., the opinion abroad is pretty split up. This one is pretty popular among makeup artists here, I see it in their kits and well it works for me. I also like that it’s one of the more affordable working drugstore mascaras for myself, it only costs about $6 from US drugstores like Walgreens OR if you’d like to get it locally check out @thebeautystudioPH : a style and beauty store on Instagram and on Facebook here. They’ve got other cool things as well.

*product provided by @thebeautystudioph on Instagram for review :)



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