Bless My Bag

beauty bagged by a cheeky Filipina

VOLUSPA Black Figue & Chypre Candle | Smells Like Diptyque Baies Noir for Way Less

There’s an overflow of morning daylight shots on the blog, let’s balance it out a bit and go deeper.  Chilly ‘Ber breezes have found their way home and I’ve found a value-for-money scented candle alternative to burn versus Diptyque candles.  While I’ll never fully give up on owning Diptyque candles from time to time, Voluspa votive candles are more affordable luxury candles made in the U.S. but crafted with the same loving attention to detail, and they provide the same subtle but noticeable level of scent throw as Diptyque.

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BLACK FIGUE & CHYPRE,  12Oz Classic MAISON NOIR Candle (Php2100, Dimensione) BURN – Approx. 85-90 hrs.

A breathtaking duo of currant and black fig blended into a heart of mysterious chypre…

It looks quite swag doesn’t it?  It’s a 12 oz candle, it’s huge!  Bigger than Diptyque’s Baies Noir candle for less!  And I love how their label design is their own, very ornately classic, this Figue & Chypre one is from Voluspa’s MAISON NOIR collection which are either deep berry based, musky, or sweet and warm, perfect selections to burn in the evening during fall or a great accent to have in a bachelor pad.  I plan to own one more when I make a trip back, I want a particular one from the MAISON BLANC collection (glass also looks like this but think white) which looks more dainty and feminine.  The Voluspa MAISON BLANC collection comprises of scents that are, on the other end of the spectrum, fruity or floral and fresh…bright and perfect for a pre-springime or daytime  burn come Jan and Feb.

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To make my point quickly before rolling in the rest of the  photos, let me do a price comparison between these sizes: Diptyque’s Baies Noir Candle 10.5 oz (Baies scent in black glass) costs Php3950 (converted from $90 on website), while this VOLUSPA 120z Black Figue & Chypre (& Currant) candle which smells almost EXACTLY THE SAME AS BAIES cost me Php2100 from DimensioneThat lower price  for more at TWELVE Ounces, in an equally beautiful, tallish, ombre noir glass mug I can use for makeup brushes after.  Another price comparison, by the way for the smaller candles…Diptyque travel size candle (2.4oz): Php1400+, VOLUSPA travel size candle (2.5-2.8oz): Php695!  Do I have your attention now?  Read more to get the full review and more photos.

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Benefit Holiday 2013 Plus a Pop Giveaway! | Until Oct.31! 3 They’re Real MINI Mascaras to Win!

Christmas came early this year and “Mother” Christmas was none other than the Global Beauty Authority lady for Benefit Cosmetics, Annie F. Danielson.  This was my second time to meet her, but the first time with really short hair :)  She brought us the “Whole Lotta Lovin’ ” Holiday Set for 2013 and a few other bits and bobs for Pushin & Poppin those lashes, primarily their world-famous They’re Real Mascara, of which I have 3 minis to giveaway!  Read through the post and the giveaway details are towards the end :)  Reminder this mascara giveaway is a quick one and ends in 3-4 days so there’s no better time to join than today! (Note: This Giveaway is Nationwide)

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MY LOOT: Clockwise, Benefit They’re Real Mascara, Benefit Bad Gal Waterproof Eyeliner, Benefit Hydra Smooth Lipcolor in “Dare Me”, and the “Whole Lotta Lovin’ ” Holiday 2013 Forever Flattering Makeup Kit (available from local Benefit Cosmetics counters starting NOV. 1, 2013, for PHP2000.00).

 

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I can safely suspect that this “Whole Lotta Lovin’ ” limited edition Holiday set by Benefit will sell out quickly once it hits counters this November I believe (will try to edit in the exact date).  It’s a very wearable selection of 3 of their long wearing eyeshadows: “Nude Swings”, “It’s Complicated”, and “Kiss Me I’m Tipsy”, 1 Creaseless Cream shadow in “No Pressure” (like a deeper version of “RSVP”), Benefit Boing concealer  in 02 & their best selling sculpting blush, Benefit Hoola.  You also get 2 nifty brushes for application.

 

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Now here’s the giveaway part, I’m going to choose 3 winners to win these adorable baby size versions of Benefit’s bestselling They’re Real Mascara!  Aren’t they cuuuuuute…

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What Annie told me to tell you guys is what’s cool is that you’re getting a travel size tube BUT with the full size wand.  What peeves her about travel versions of other mascaras is the downsizing of the wands which changes everything during application.  Here you get the original wand that gives you those longer, bigger lashes just as the full size product would, but in a more portable tube.  To join the giveaway just follow the 5 mandatory steps in the Rafflecopter widget below :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Zara City Bag | The Office City Bag’s Demure Sister

I’m hardly ever captivated by bags on a regular basis.  I have 6, more or less, active hand/shoulder bags, (the dormant ones I have either outgrown or they’ve faded & peeled relentlessly), 7 if you count my gym bag and I don’t believe that I need a whole fleet of them.  When I first laid eyes on Anna’s (Vivianna Does Makeup) Zara OFFICE City Bag in her video quite awhile back, last February, I was fixated within seconds but though I browsed through ebay I wasn’t going to be foolish and get it for double the price.  Besides, taxes once it got here would make it so not worth the online attempt.  So I sensibly put it out of my mind for months.  It said online it was sold out everywhere abroad.  So, when I saw this Zara City Bag at GB5 yesterday (there’s 1 left in stock btw) I made it mine.  One, because I’m a fan of bags with compartments, two, I needed a black working bag that convinces people I’m out of college, and three, I’m a fan of Anna, lol.  Seriously though, the City bags in general, as Anna said don’t have a particularly eye-catching look about them, in fact for some you might think “Big, black, & cumbersome…” but what made lots of people notice Anna’s choice of purchase were really the functional compartments and also how close it looked to the Michael Kors Selma Bag.  Some were also cluelessly mistaken upon complimenting Anna on her “Prada” bag which made her laugh herself to bits, that’s what people really thought when they saw hers.  Of her own bag, the Office City, Anna narrates that it happens to be an OC person’s dream tote because of the thoughtfully included compartments and pockets.  Well I’d mistakenly thought ever since I purchased this yesterday at Zara that I had the exact same one as she did…as it turns out I didn’t get the exact-exact same one, mine’s the City not the Office City.  I wasn’t let down at all when I realized that, it’s from the same bag family, it’s the same size as hers with the same compartments, and you can hardly tell the difference.  Our bags sensibly qualify for a good round of “spot the difference” at first glance.

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Mine. Php3995.00, 3 mos. to pay

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Anna’s. £50/Php3500.00

The price hike isn’t unreasonably steep if you consider import tax.  My Zara City Bag is so similar to Anna’s Office City one that I had already “rerunned” through that video review of hers last night (I’ve embedded the vid at the bottom) while holding mine (yes, pathetically starstruck lol) and I still didn’t notice the 3-4 differences between this and that ’til the next morning.  My City is not rigid and as structured as the Office City Bag so mine screams more “business lady” rather than “business woman” and it doesn’t have piped edging, although some of you might want that piping coz it makes the bag look a bit more formidable.

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Mine, the Zara City up close.  Impressively synthesized “Saffiano” leather, unless you feel it, looks like Saffiano

A few more to note, Anna’s has extra embroidered strap detail on the joints of the bag handles but hers doesn’t have the buttoned strap that optionally adjoins the two handles, and I think hers has one or two more compartments but that’s about it.  The rest of the bag matches up, even the plum burgundy color of the inner lining is the same.  By the way the metal hardware has a gold finish, some of the color might have gotten lost in the photos when I brightened them up.  Read more to check out the photos of my own bag up close, see its inner compartments, and watch the video of Anna’s Review/What’s in My Bag post with the Zara Office City.

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Hello to Happy Skin Cosmetics PH!| Featuring Shut Up & Kiss Me Moisturizing Lippies

Two women who were particularly passionate about beauty were not satisfied with affordable brands that contained many irritants or toxic ingredients that could in the long-run harm or irritate skin.  If there are organic cosmetic alternatives the payoff or textures more often than not can tend to disappoint.  Shucks, who wants to look lackluster for safety’s sake?  We’re women, we want happy skin AND exquisite color payoff, and we want our money’s worth AND pretty packaging as the cherry on top…to sum it up in four words, we want it all.  Say hello to Happy Skin Cosmetics PH, one of the few brands that excites you with thoughtful packaging & quirky names but delights you even more with the products they contain.  Just to show you how much they cared, the base products are Made in Japan, but even though the products are manufactured in multiple countries quality made to impress is consistent so we were pretty much blown away and all over the testers.

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Prettily packaged Happy Skin Cosmetics has arrived, the indie cosmetic brainchild of Jacqueline Yuengtian-Gutierrez (former personal care leader at Unilever) and  Rissa Mananquil-Trillo (former professional model).  Like all the other bloggers at the launch, I just can’t contain myself.  For now they’re currently consigned at 5 Plains & Prints outlets: Alabang Town Center, Glorietta, Megamall, Shangrila Mall & Trinoma…but in the next few weeks they’ll expand.

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Next, I am making mention of some (not all) of the products that caught our attention…including the all too familiar lip crayon dupes we just couldn’t stop playing with during the launch because of how unbelievable good they are for the price.  Read more to get to the full post and my first feature on the Shut Up & Kiss Me moisturizing lip crayons that I try on for myself.

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Ever Played Around with Modiface Virtual Makeover? | Try out Looks Without the Mess

I noticed my friend backstage, Julianne, a singer/songwriter and Awit Awards winner has recently been loving playing around with this gussy up app called Modiface.  She uses it via her iPad and when you’ve got a bit of time and barefaced photos of yourself in your gallery there are thousands of possibilities when it comes to giving yourself a digital makeover.  Give it a lite go right here!  Or download it via Android’s Google play store or Apple’s app store.

 

Perhaps you’d rather not make a mess on your face but want to see possible looks you’d like to try for future occasions or events, Modiface is a great way to see how certain shades of makeup or even different colored contacts might look on you!  Check it out and save photos of yourself with different looks :).

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