Bless My Bag

beauty bagged by a cheeky Filipina

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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!

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