Bless My Bag

beauty bagged by a cheeky Filipina

Paula’s Choice AHA Gel (8% Glycolic Acid) | First Impression: Gentle Overnight Renewal

“A whole new world, a dazzling face I never knew…”. Palm to cheek, I’m not exaggerating, Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting AHA Gel brought out the best in my skin after one night so far, a result even more obvious than the Clarins Gentle Exfoliating toner (in my case).  Paula’s Choice is a cosmetic range birthed by American skincare queen, Paula Begoun, who began in the skin biz as someone who suffered from acne then became a celebrated product blogger/reviewer and professional esthetician.  It would be nearly but not quite precise to describe her as America’s version of UK facialist & skin consultant Caroline Hirons (but add in 3 million copies of books sold and being dubbed Oprah’s Cosmetic Cop).  I’d still cautiously take the comparison to Caroline with a grain of salt.  Caroline is more low-key, less jazzed up, and focuses more on testing and helping a variety of brands improve whilst Paula is advocating her own brand now.  They’re both talented “skinspirations” who speak their mind about formulations and ingredients for everyone’s benefit and if a brand like Paula’s Choice has helped girls with troubled skin find a safe solution that’s a good thing.  Now, Paula’s Choice has landed in the Philippines and for now are available for purchase only online, but eventually will expand into retail.  If you’ve got normal to dry sensitive skin (do not use AHA  if you’ve got acne.  BHA is for you), are in your late twenties or beyond and have been unsure about which chemical exfoliant to try here’s where you can Begoun, er…begin that is.

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Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting AHA Gel (8% Glycolic Acid) PRICE: Php1120.00 for 100ml Alcohol-free, fragrance-free, no animal testing

INGREDIENTS: Water, Glycolic Acid (alpha hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (chamomile/soothing agent), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (water-binding agent), Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (antioxidant), Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Sodium PCA (water-binding agents), Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol (slip agents/penetration enhancers), Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polyquaternium-10 (thickeners), Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben (all preservatives).

The Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting AHA Gel has a higher percentage of glycolic acid (8%) than UK’s cult Alpha H Liquid Gold (which contains 5%) BUT the gentle difference is unlike Alpha H (or even the Clarins Gentle Exfoliant) this is alcohol-free, contains moisture grabbing hyaluronic acid, calming chamomile + aloe, and is also at the correct lower Ph level for overnight exfoliation, plus it’s way more affordable at Php1120 instead of Php1700++ for Alpha H.  Remember Johnson’s Ph 5.5?  That’s a higher Ph approved for gentle cleansing so you will not react, but for something to be able to actively exfoliate the skin the Ph has to drop temporarily triggering the skin to rebalance itself quickly, so this has the correct Ph level for exfoliation between 3.5-4.5.  Read on and click “more” to get the full review and watch pro makeup artist Wayne Goss’ concise video review on this product.

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Haus of Gloi “Something Hopeful” Bubbling Scrub | An Out of Season Asian Delight

It’s been awhile but the brand remains close to my heart.  When the ‘Ber months come rolling around, my early readers know I eventually muse about the small U.S. venture that is Haus of Gloi again since their Holiday ranges are among the most sought after in seasonal vegan bath & body concoctions.  The endearing revelation is that it’s a vegan couple behind all this, Briton designs the scents and makes everything…and Matt packs and ships everything.  What I’ve been drawn to is late and out of season, since “Something Hopeful” is from their Valentine collection, but in case you’re one of my new readers (and I’ve noticed there are several of you) you may have not heard me gush about this brand before.

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SOMETHING HOPEFUL

“Perhaps the first stirrings of the spring to come. Warm sakura blossom green tea with the tiniest droplet of plum juice, red mandarin and crystallized jasmine essence.”

Briton’s thoughtfully written scent descriptions help land purchases every time.

Something Hopeful Bubbling Scrub is a creamy, fruity, Asian floral.  The bubbling scrubs are exfoliating pasty wonders which lather up gently when you work it into wet skin and they undoubtedly transform bath or shower moments into a luxuriously fragrant event.   Read on and click “more” to get the full review.

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Cheers for Clinique Chubby Sticks! | Those Leading Cosmetic Crayons

It’s absolutely no surprise that legions of cosmetic crayons have swamped the beauty industry.  They’re handy to have along, most are automatic twist-ups and in no need of sharpening, you’ve got great control and well, they’re just bug cute to look at. Yes I know I’m more than a little late on the whole craze but I’ve finally got my fix haven’t I?  Apparently, all those other brands jumped on the crayon bandwagon without shame, but we do have to hand it to the brand leading the pack, don’t we?

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CLINIQUE Chubby Stick Intense LIPS (Php920) – “Tempt lips with a soft cushion of colour that’s not quite sheer, not quite opaque-just the perfect happy medium. Loaded with mango and shea butters so lips feel comfortably soft and smooth. Eight vibrant shades in all.”

CLINIQUE Chubby Stick for EYES (Php920) – “Sheer wash of lightweight, creamy colour slips on. Layerable and long-wearing. Versatile, too.  Glide one on for a swift wash of colour. Contour with another to add depth, and yet another to highlight. There’s no need to stop at just one.  Appropriate for sensitive eyes and contact lens-wearers.”

When the Clinique team asked me to choose what to review for the first time, I was excited.  I replied in a heartbeat (well, after lunch)  “Chubby sticks…” requesting the Intense one for lips in Heftiest Hibiscus, a coral with a sneaky raspberry undertone, and the one for eyes in Lavish Lilac, a “mushroomed” murky lavender.  I’d never bothered to try their smaller sheer chubby predecessors simply coz the idea of “sheer” crayons didn’t appeal to me, however these, in a moment, you will see why I really like these.  Read on and click more to read the full post.

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Matchie Matchie Without Fail | Beauty & Fashion Hand in Hand

Color Coordination – From Fashion Faux Pas to Being the Hottest Trend

Models make matching make-up, accessories and clothes look simple and easy. However, mere mortals like us may find it difficult to follow their footsteps, especially when we decide to wear something monochromatic. In this entry, you will find compiled tips to achieve a fab look without fail.  Rock that runway with your naturally perfect pucker.

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Models: Callum David & Alisa wearing Randy Ortiz, Makeup: Julia Arenas, Photography: Ritzmarie.net

1. The first thing you need to remember is to choose the right lipstick. Oprah shared some basics about how to choose the right lip color. She said that you have to consider three things: a) your natural lip color (don’t go too far from it), b) make sure that your lip shade is complemented by your skin color and lastly, c) remember that with lighter hair, lip colors tend to take on a darker shade.

2. Less is more. If you’re going after a monochrome look, don’t overdo it. Whether you’re trying to pull off a style similar to Anne Hathaway during the Golden Globe Awards or just a simple business look with a red Marks & Spencer dress, we’d like to remind you to keep the coordination to a minimum. This approach will make you look sexy without going overboard.

3. Clown make-up is perfect for an entertainer during a child’s birthday party. However, it is not good for sophisticated women. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing an organic lip color from Human Nature or an expensive Mac shade; you need to tone down on your colors. Give the people around you a focal point and not the impression that you had a bad day mixing the paint at home, which incidentally also spilled on you.

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4. Lastly, make sure that you have prepared your lips before applying the lipstick. Apply a thin layer of foundation on your lips. Trace the outline using a neutral colored lip-liner. Once you’re satisfied with the base, you can now choose the hue or shade of lipstick that would match your outfit.

Apply these tips and you’re bound to feel more like a model on the runway, cool, confident, and oozing with chic.

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