Moringa-O2 Malunggay Herbal Facial Toner | A Local Alcohol-Free hydrating Toner

With all the Caroline Hirons mania since the MUA Pixiwoo sisters featured UK’s very own pro skincare guru on their BodyTalk channel people like myself have been waking up and switching up on skincare.  I sense a bead of sweat rolling downward for several brands since hundreds of thousands of people have begun to furiously check ingredients lists wanting a proper and safe revamp for their faces.  I’m not one to completely fuss and throw out everything but I have been zooming through my current staples wanting to finish them up since I’ve got a Ms.Hirons sort of “haul” (ugh, hate the word but it helps you envision) coming through beginning of next month.  Recently I’ve realized that not everything she recommends has to be imported, she simply goes on like a broken record about ALCOHOL-FREE when it comes to toners and now at least I’ve got something, and it’s proudly Filipino.

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KEY INGREDIENTS : Aloe, Glycerin, Witch Hazel flower water, Moringa (malunggay leaf extract), Omega (sunflower oil), and Olive Leaf Extract. Php 95.00 (available in Watsons, SM Supermarkets, SM Savemore, SM Hypermarkets, and Robinson’s Department Stores)

I like that Ms. Hirons is not legalistic about ingredients she doesn’t like but she just says better if they’re not in a product at all, are neutralized by another ingredient in the mix, or are near the bottom of the ingredients list (meaning only the least, tiny amount).  We know that she’s sweetly supportive and devoted to Emma Hardie skincare, the range she forever supports, and what she goes on and on for miles about is their Lift and Sculpt Moringa range.  Moringa my friends is MALUNGGAY…Pinays wake up…we’ve got some great Malunggay stuff going on at the moment, like the Moringa-O2 skincare range for instance by the makers of Gluta-C, the range has been around for a couple of years but only recently has it been aggressively marketed via social media and I’m glad their team sent me the range to try.  I’ve quickly become a fan of the Moringa-O2 Herbal Facial Toner  just in the last few hours so I decided to give you a short review.  What I like about this toner is everything about it being hydrating and charged with natural goodies and the only thing I dislike is that it’s scented, once again…they didn’t have to…really, I’d much rather they didn’t, right?  FRAGRANCE FREE wins faces every time people, come on.  The scent however is light and pleasant and doesn’t stay on your face, it smells similar to Elizabeth Arden Green Tea.

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This is the moment, I have to get it out, because I need to stress this.  DO NOT SUBSTITUTE TONER AS MAKEUP REMOVER PLEASE.  TONER IS NOT MAKEUP REMOVER. TONER WILL NOT HELP IF YOU HAVE MAKEUP IN THE WAY.  So please kindly remove your makeup with a proper makeup remover, CLEANSE (if you can use an SLS free cleanser better), and then use a toner.  I apply the Moringa-O2 Facial Toner on with my favorite cotton pads (Delon from S&R if i’m not mistaken, the round ones with a smooth side and textured side) 2 dashes to the textured side of the pad to help get excess grime off, then 2 dashes to the smooth side to apply again for added hydration and overall clean.  This really did not make my skin feel tight in the slightest and my face felt refreshed, plump, and happy, it also helped my skin better receive my DermaE Hyaluronic Acid Hydration Serum (my Hydraluron dupe) afterwards followed by my moisturizer, layering the 3 didn’t clash on my face which surprised me in a positive way.  While it’s alcohol-free still DO NOT try taking this near your eyes by the lash line because it’s scented…you can take it around the eye area, on eyebags, just don’t get too close.  It left my skin cool and refreshed without alcohol thanks to soothing Aloe and Witch Hazel blossom water which comprises the base of the toner preventing any sort of parched feeling.  The leave-in goodie for your skin is the Moringa Extract which is steadily in the center of the ingredients list indicating it’s got a good amount of this, moringa has healing and balancing properties that nourish the skin.  I wouldn’t wonder too much about the benefits, if there are any, of the Sunflower and Olive Leaf extract since they’re so far down the list this contains too tiny amount.  Anyhow, it’s good to know they’re in there, better good than bad.  At Php95.00 this toner is a local drugstore gem.  Follow Moringa-O2 on Facebook for more product updates and information.To full post & COMMENTS...

Slash that Stash! Part 1 | Top 5 – Five to Survive

Today is all about makeup kit weight loss, sticking with stuff that works and what you need. Capsule kits are king this spring/summer because of all the holidays people will be taking and college girls are about to start school again this June. The makeup pouch, kit, sack…whatever… is what always ends up a burgeoning mess halfway out the door for girls who care (like myself) simply because we’re finicky and like trying different things. People are talking about paring down the kit but to make things easier for the variation among you I’m doing a 2-part series. First for today a bare minimum 5 products (excluding tools) for those who need to look done and don’t fuss as much and then a more trooper-esque 10 products next time for the hopelessly devoted. Bear in mind this is not as much about the branded products presented as it is essentially 5 general cosmetic items you will need to put a fresh, lightly done face on. This Part 1 post will also be segmented two ways. It will begin with the “5 to Survive” for makeup noobs (easy to use products with minimal tools) and then the 5 to survive for the part-time “pros” with more skill. Please note that these are recommendations and you can of course substitute different brands that offer the same sort of product. The mixes may or may not work for you but I’m free to present why I think they should work :).

THE MAKEUP NOOB’S FIVE TO SURVIVE

So you need to primp and you don’t care as much as the rest of the female population ( And that’s okay, we are born in variants) but you need to keep staples on hand at all times to put a face on as needed. You may or may not be an athlete, social worker, a nurse, a spy (who sees you) or maybe a mother of 10 but whatever the case you do have more important pursuits than fussing with your face. You loathe needing skills to use different brushes other than a powder brush and the idea of using multiple eyeshadow and blending forever recycles itself…binned at the back of your mind. Maybe this lot is for you. I sacrificed eyeliner because mascara works for me at a bare minimum. If you can’t live without eyeliner add to the 5 and make it 6, no one’s stopping you hehe.

slashstash_04CLOCKWISE: 1.) A foundation or base product that can be built to conceal (Shiseido Perfect Refining foundation SPF 24), 2.) A lip and cheek product (Benefit ChaCha Tint), 3.) A volumizing waterproof mascara (L’Oreal False Lash Telescopic this is the non-waterproof , my WP one is already ugly to look at lol), 4.) A liquid brow pen (K-palette 1DayTattoo Eyebrow pen I cheated and used the eyeliner for the photo, but it looks the same), 5.) A mineral compact setting powder (MakeUp Factory Mineral Compact, you can also use MAC MSF Natural but that doesn’t have a mirror)

 

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TOOLS FOR THE MAKEUP NOOB – See no worries, just the Shu Uemura lash curler and a retractable powder brush. My brush is an Ecotools one but you can locally get premium ones by Charm makeup brushes.

This Top 5 set I put together keeping in mind that people without the skill or any plan to add to what they can do with their hands should have convenient options. You can apply the foundation with your hands beginning at the center of your face. This Shiseido one I chose is as thin as a tinted moisturizer, comes in a dinky convenient dropper bottle and offers medium to full coverage so you can add more in certain areas to conceal more. While the foundation is still moist add the cheek tint, the one I chose by Benefit quickly stains which is why you have to massage it onto the apples of your cheeks immediately once applied. Fill in sparse areas of your brows with the brow pen and and perfect the tail. Proceed to powder the T-zone and chin with the Makeup Factory mineral compact. Lastly, curl your lashes and apply mascara thickly at the base of the roots and thinner at the tips. Read more to see the Five to Survive set I chose for part-time makeup pros.… To full post & COMMENTS...

My New HG Top Luxury Foundations | Koh Gen Do Aqua & Koh Gen Do Moisture

I first tried both these foundations by Japanese brand Koh Gen Do a few days ago at Beauty Bar in Podium. I know I’m a little late on the bandwagon because bloggers were raving about these a little over a year ago? When I tried these I crankshafted my jaw up off the floor twice, first because of the excellent quality and second because of the price. They’re painfully expensive (almost matching Becca Luminous Skin Tint in price over at Adora) which is probably why the Koh Gen Do hype didn’t last for too long…these aren’t exactly budget friendly repurchase candidates unless no other foundation at all works for you.

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These KGD gems are only so far the best and most luxurious foundations I have ever…as in EVER tried. Note though that’s a personal and professional opinion based on how I like my base products to work. Some of you might want more coverage. The Moisture Foundation is the more buildable formula. They’re both formulated with a majority of natural ingredients, free of mineral oil and mainstream nasties and they are made in Japan. The local price difference of Php100 between these two I find strange because they’re not that dissimilar in quality and one contains much more product for money than the other (and they cost the same abroad). I do have my reasons for purchasing 1 of each kind in spite of the small difference. For the review you’re about to read I applied both foundations from the center of the face outward with a Real Techniques Expert Face brush. This review won’t contain hand swatches simply because I’m saving product, it costs too much and the shades are almost the same anyway. What’s better than a foundation review? Well, how about two? Read more to see the full reviews and more photos.… To full post & COMMENTS...

DermaE Hydrating Serum w/ Hyaluronic Acid | Local Dupe of C.Hiron’s Fave Hydraluron

I recently had to ditch less than half a tub of my fave Nivea Baby Smoothy Moisturizer only because I realized it was just slightly over expired, the fact that I finished more than half  a tub was actually great, didn’t think I would like it enough to get that far.  I would have finished it had I been more faithful in applying it on my legs, it contains mineral oil but I don’t react badly to it.  Since a few of my skincare bits are steadily on their way out I’ve become determined in tracking down a couple (not all) of Caroline Hiron’s non-nasty skincare recommendations (brand consultant, advanced facialist, blogger) in order to get things done right.  A few of course I sourced some discounted online with very minimal or free shipping (not available here).  I’ll feature those picks all together soon, but there was one item that really frustrated me because it was nowhere on ebay or anywhere I looked except at Boots in UK, Hydraluron.  Caroline Hiron’s skincare video with Pixiwoo hadn’t come out yet while I was in Europe.  If I had seen it I would have made a dash for Indeed Labs’ Hydraluron (hyaluronic acid) serum at Boots.    Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in the body as a carbohydrate that binds itself to water and functions as a natural lubricant throughout the body.  Hydraluron by Indeed Labs, as Caroline mentions in this video on Pixiwoo’s Body Talk channel, is like generic hyaluronic acid at its purest in gel form (don’t let the word “acid” put you off, there are acids the skin needs) without fillers, without harmful additives, and without flowery add ons that bump up the price.  That one, Hydraluron, is not available here, but this is, and I’ve tried it.  DermaE Hydrating Serum is an oil-free, nasties free Hydrating Serum meant to be used under your moisturizer just like Hydraluron.

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“DermaE Hydrating Serum is an intensive, nourishing formula that can be used in combination with other moisturizers to enhance their effect.  May also be used alone for those with oily or blemish-prone skin.  NEVER any harmful parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, petrolatum, mineral oil or artificial colors. DermaE is family owned and operated, proven natural formulations since 1984″

INGREDIENTS: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid; Actimoist Bio-1), Calcium Ascorbate (Ester C), Allantoin, Panthenol, Alanine, Leucine, Tyrosine, Dimethicone, Glycine, Valine, Ammonium, Acryloyldimethylaurate/VP Copolymer (Aristoflex), Ceteareth 20, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Plumeria Blossom Fragrance.

The only drawback, and I don’t know why they had to but they bothered, is it is scented but thankfully it isn’t an annoying scent, it’s a quite pleasant hint of plumeria that goes away minutes after application which is nice but personally I’d prefer this unscented.  Essentially this is almost the same thing as Hydraluron but fortified with vitamins and amino acids, it does have silicone but not too much.  It comes out like a white cleansing milk, creamy but thin and not too runny.  It looks quite generic in the bottle too with a short ingredients list and it really works.  It would be good as a primer before makeup if you don’t use moisturizer, but as skincare I use a dime size amount all over my face and apply a bit of my moisturizer, as a result the hydration lasts all day.  When you apply this, you’ll feel hydration within seconds, skin is partly quenched and prepped to receive and bind in moisturizer.

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I love how when I tried this directly under a new foundation ( a nice moisturizing foundation that wasn’t dewy) it added to makeup longevity and kept my skin feeling and looking like skin until the evening even with makeup on, of course, the type of foundation helped, too.  There is also a hydrating day cream version of this with hyaluronic acid as well, but I chose the serum because the acid is 3rd from the top on the ingredients list meaning the serum contains a way better amount.  If you’re lazy and have no time to do this step THEN moisturizer, just get the day cream instead.  It’s got good ingredients, too, and I’m sure it’s excellent.  I’d personally say it’s suitable for sensitive skin like mine, but we’re all different works of art, right.  I didn’t react to the mild fragrance.  This is not a miracle product in my opinion, it’s simply an effective product, frankly, it just does what it’s supposed to, and that’s what we want products to do every time, right?  This is available locally at Healthy Options for Php1475, slightly cheaper than the £25 (Php1500+) mark of Hydraluron from Boots but a close match in price.  This is a U.S. product so it is also available in the States (probably at Wholefoods)  If you want to get this close enough dupe for Ms. Hiron’s fave Hydraluron hop over to Healthy Options and try it out.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Maybelline BOLD MATTE ColorSensational Lipsticks | Wait…before you scream

I know you saw the photo, but don’t jump on it just yet, I knowwwwwwww… my heart leaped in the same way when I saw these in Watsons a few days ago thinking they might be like really good drugstore matte lipsticks. I don’t slam products needlessly, but I do need to tell the truth. Don’t get me wrong, I love Maybelline products, especially their eye stuff…but this time, this time FOR THE FIRST TIME, frankly I actually want a refund. I feel totally misled.

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So far, exciting, right…

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The short swatches are one swipe, the long swatches were my best effort to get them solidly opaque after like 4-5 swipes…when I saw pigment separating that’s when I knew something was wrong. Sheer mattes that aren’t quite matte?! Plus, why don’t these build? Not all of them were complete flops, one sort of stood out, but I’ll save the best for last and begin with the ugh…hard to say, but really the worst one. I had high hopes for this orange. Whatever you do do not get MAT3, that’s this one

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A heavy handed swipe on the lower lip, I’m not kidding. What the hey. It doesn’t even register bright orange, it comes on like a lip butter with less sheen.

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Um, see pigment separating and settling into my lip creases? Le sigh, I was heavy handed with this orange and I even had concealer over my lips to help the bright shade it should have been…awful that orange is. It’s more like LOWrange.

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MAT5 above is a pink toned rouge, way better pigment than the orange, but tell me…does THAT look matte to you? Plus the shade doesn’t feel BOLD it’s quite mehmeh. Mom says it seems as if they may have mislabeled these or the lipsticks went to the wrong labeling batch (BOLD MATTE??!).

 

 

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Last but finally not the least, bolder and more matte (still not matte enough though) is MAT1, a slightly cool but also slightly coral pop of pink that is not too bright for MAC NC30-35 skintones to use. It strongly reminds me of MAC Pink Nouveau or even a slightly less bright Lime Crime Countessa Fluorescent. I have a feeling THIS ONE would have registered completely matte in a drier country. I also purchased a more orange red hoping it would be a Lady Danger dupe but it wasn’t matte. That one was a lovely color kinda like Revlon’s Classic Fire and Ice but because it wasn’t matte I passed it on to my Lola who absolutely loved it, she didn’t mind that it wasn’t matte. I have no idea why the quality throughout the range is so inconsistent. Maybelline, I still love your brand to bits, especially the mascaras and gel liners but next time you label a range BOLD MATTE what I expect for my money is BOLD MATTE. These retail for PHp399.00 from Watsons and wherever Maybelline counters are sold in pharmacies and department stores nationwide. If you see these in store DEMAND for a tester before you decide on getting any of them. Did any of you jump on these ending up as frustrated as me or did I just get dealt a bad batch?

 

 

 

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Dr. Woods Shea Vision Liquid Castile Soap | A Dr. Bronner Dupe for Cleaning Brushes

A possibly good enough or equally fantastic dupe for Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap  is available locally.  It was Anna of the YouTube channel Vivianna Does Makeup who mentioned using that to shampoo her brushes.  Liquid castile soaps for some reason, no derogatory angle meant, paint the picture of Amish origin for me which is a good thing.  They’re supposed to be 100% natural, completely free of nasties, and reliable cleansing multitaskers…not just for yourself…but oh yeah for your STUFF as well as an all around cleaner.  The way liquid castile soap is used is it’s to be diluted 1 part product to 4 parts water (a smaller part diluted is recommended when for yourself). I picked up these 2 variants of Dr. Woods Shea Vision Castile soap just  a few days ago from Healthy Options for ergh, how much…need to double check if Php275 or Php375, I’ll edit it in.  What I like about the Shea Vision castile soaps of Dr. Woods is they’ll strip the dirt and grime but rehydrate or moisturize non-greasily with glycerin and shea butter.   I got the peppermint scented one to match my J&C Spot Cleaning Solution which is also minty and I got the milder fragrance free baby formula just in case.  The baby fragrance-free formula is practically the same make, just without Peppermint Oil, and is a little less viscuous and more gloopy but works just as well.  The baby variant would also be wonderful if used as a substitute for detergent on intimate apparel like your delicates if you’re the sort that gets skin reactions to laundry detergent.  What I love is that these lather nicely even if they’re free of parabens, pthalates and sulfates.

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INGREDIENTS: Purified Water, Saponified Coconut, Hemp, and Olive oils (w/ retained glycerin), organic shea butter, Vitamin E, (Peppermint Oil), Sea salt, Citric Acid, and Rosemary Extract. (Certified Organic by Ecocert S.A.)

For my makeup brushes I measured 2 overflowing caps of product diluted in 1 cup of water.  That 1 cup solution was good enough to clean about 10-12 powder and foundation brushes, the biggest tools which use up the most solution.  They rinse clean and when they dry what’s important is my brushes feel like they did when I first bought them.  To find out how I wash my brushes read my brush cleansing post here and just substitute this solution for the Joy solution and use the same method.  I use olive oil to clean my tiny lip and eyeliner brushes.   I’d been looking for a good makeup brush deep cleansing alternative that was more suited for facial brushes in contrast to dishwashing detergent like Joy Antibac (some people mind when they find out brushes were cleansed with detergent) and this range by Dr. Woods seemed to tick all the checkboxes.  Earlier, I used this to clean something other than makeup brushes.  Epic proof fail in the sense that I didn’t take a before shot of how grimy these two pouches looked already before I washed them, but believe me when I say it did the job well and they smelt so nicely of fresh peppermint when I held the dry pouches to my nose.

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Today I used 4 caps of the Peppermint Castile soap in about less than a liter of water in a small wash bowl to soak my beansprout illustrated pouches which were due for a wash.  What I like about this for my utility pouches is Dr. Woods soap will remove any dirt but it won’t bleach the natural canvas of my pouches and it won’t fade the illustrations either.  I soaked these for about 2 hours then after I gently rinsed and hand wrung them of excess water then used a hairdryer to get them dry.  To check these out look them up at your local Healthy Options boutique.  This Liquid Castile soap stuff is therapeutic to work with because it’s so gentle and I now actually am mentally making a list of more stuff to clean…aha, I have one more brush set that needs work (rubs palms with glee).

 

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Rethinking Skincare & Application | Top Advice From the Top

After reading hundreds of blogs, talking to local professionals, and pouring over professional sites about skincare I was steadily becoming a self-righteous “skinnie” (with sensitive skin) believing full well that I probably knew a lot ’til I came across these references and felt like I got my ear twisted. I watched the following two videos (which I will link in of course in the post), firstly about skincare products with the unsinkable Caroline Hirons and secondly a Part 1 ITG cleansing video intimately done with world renowned and accredited facialist Isabelle Bellis. First off, let’s hear some skin principles and recommended products. Please know you shouldn’t be pressured to get THESE exact products just listen to what you need to avoid (although we would get them all if we could in a heartbeat wouldn’t we?) Caroline Hirons, the revered skincare brand expert and editor of the Beautymouth.com lovingly pushed presents her product picks to Nic and Sam Chapman aka the pro MUA Pixiwoo sisters on their BodyTalkDaily YouTube channel

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“Trained in over 100 brands and a globally qualified advanced facialist.
Developed bespoke facials and trained teams internationally for top brands in the UK, USA and Far East. Now working as a Consultant to brands and retailers in the Beauty Industry. Advises brands on the route into market, where they should be selling and why and puts brands into those retailers.” – Beautymouth.com

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For the first time the well known UK makeup duo looked like a couple of very lovely noobs back in skin “school”. Take for instance their being scolded about mineral oil and other nasties in certain products. Did we even know that foaming facial gel cleansers are WORSE for oily and acne peppered skin because they end up alkalining the surface making it a breeding ground for bacteria? Oh gosh, no way did I know! It did suddenly make sense to me that mineral oil is probably permissible in makeup but it shouldn’t be present in cleansing products. Click Read more to proceed to the full article mentioning the main cleansing product Caroline loves and also to get to the videos including Isabelle’s cleansing demonstration.… To full post & COMMENTS...

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