I like hearing about new items, even if I can’t get them. There’s something pervasively thrilling about a beauty item that’s not quite within your reach. You wonder how it might work, feel, or look on you and you start to imagine how you might come by it and there’s always a story to tell when you’re able to get something that’s not readily available. Here are a few things I’ve spotted that are quite a delight to look upon and the idea of them is like honey to this bee. Buzz.
ANASTASIA Bold and Beautiful Kit, for brows and eyes.
We begin with Anastasia’s quite necessary Bold and Beautiful Kit. You have a Great Gatsby inspired box encasing 2 palette volumes. One is for brows with 2 brow shades tweezers and a dual sized angled brush and spoolie. The other palette is a quad of rich neutral colors for eyes also with a dual sided eyebrow brush. This whole ensemble actually looks like something Urban Decay would do, but way classier. You can also cheat looking like a bookworm with it.
Image from http://www.cybelesays.com/caption
Bare Minerals READY Foundation SPF 20, hydrating pressed mineral foundation compact, comes in 20 shades to suit.
Now this new READY foundation product by Bare Minerals (it is about time they got pressed I believe), apart from its heavyweight price, could readily be (pun intended) an instant sellout amongst women 30 upwards in a humid country like ours. I’m sure a lot of you have asked for Bare Minerals as “pasalubongs” before, like a couple of years back? And probably still have pots of the stuff sitting unfinished here and there. Mineral makeup was a fun trend, but it was awfully messy wasn’t it? Over here I’d confidently say more than half of the populace prefers to apply powder bases on to fight sweat and shine all day, all night. They claim it isn’t drying even if it is a pressed mineral formula but what I’m wondering is why they pressed their eyeshadows before their foundation… anyway, I’m inclined to believe that their formula is a knockout considering the age of technology the world is now in. These mineral compacts are already doing well, but they forgot to do one thing…they forgot to come here.
Now, after all that makeup talk we need something to take it off, oh, excuse me keep it on…or both?! Shiseido brings to the world an innovative primer called the Fullmake Washable Base that works as a primer but emulsifies when it comes in full contact ONLY WITH WARM WATER. It does the double purpose of helping your makeup stay well on but it also does the job of carrying your makeup off from beneath when you cleanse your face. Its sudden emulsifying action reportedly won’t trigger with cold water, only with warm water, so no need to worry about sudden weather changes ruining your face. Now the thing is…not everyone has heated sinks here, but will that stop me from wanting to try this? Let me think…uhm, no, haha. It’s currently pre-selling in Japan, British Beauty Blogger says, but I’m not sure if it’s also scheduled to arrive here in March when it launches globally.
It’s nowhere near hot here in Laguna yet, especially at night, but I’ve got my sunscreen regime on standby for summer. Yes, it’ll be here to melt your lipsticks before you know it. If you’ve been wondering how on earth you might still avail of all these January sales after the vast holiday sale season…here it is, get good sunscreen, skincare, and your tan base shade now. Check out those luxury counters where they might be selling some travel gift sets with some miniatures. Here are a few sunscreens I own and use (that aren’t expired LOL). Some know-it-alls have been debating the use of sunscreen etc., I, too, have had those thoughts swimming in my brain. I don’t believe in “avoiding the sun at all costs” geez, hello, I live on this beautiful planet called earth! What sort of fanatic vanity would cause me to completely hide from the sun? I don’t mind tanning but seriously I just don’t want to burn. Let’s not be pretentious, not everyone on earth has access to advanced sun protection by the likes of Institut Esthederm. For now I’ll be fine with these.
It just occured to me that I was blessed with all of these sunscreens* one by one. Pevonia Botanica’s SPF30 facial sunscreen smells divinely clean and isn’t sticky and it feels intimately formulated when you put it on. These guys were also lovely enough to send me a holiday gift (you guys rock). Since Pevonia’s SPF is not so high it’s good for days when you go in and out of doors running errands rather than being out in the sun all day. The Banana Boat Ultra Protect SPF80 with aloe I use on my body…sometimes my face, too, if I’d rather bring just one sunscreen with me, it’s got high SPF so more than likely i’ll have it with me for a full day of outdoor activities. It is also not sticky, dries semi-matte to matte, and if I recall correctly it doesn’t run down your face into your eyes if you sweat. The Belo Sun Expert (Face) SPF 40 is fragrance-free also not that sticky and its handy size is super convenient for dunking into your handbag. Cristalle Belo, Vicki’s daughter, personally handed this bottle of Sun Expert to me and gave one to Mom as well when we were at a football game last year. I use it usually when I need medium sun protection on both my face and shoulders. Both the Banana Boat and Belo Sun Expert sunscreen lotions are available at leading groceries and department stores nationwide, I believe they’re both just under the Php200 mark (correct me if I’m wrong). Pevonia products are available at their partner spa branches.
*complimentary press samples provided by brands.
Okay, so my brother reports that some LOCAL items I’ve passed onto him in the skincare division have actually been working. That’s worth a post ain’t it? He has the most reactive oily skin and has suffered from breakouts for years now as a teenager. His proclaimed current saviors are AcneCare Lactoferrin supplement capsules (day and night dosage which I nag him about) that are available still, I hope, at Mercury Drug and Watsons, and the Garnier Pure Active Multi-Action Scrub from my BDJ Box loot!
If you want to see what my brother’s skin looked like before, click here and check out the close-up photo. His skin isn’t 100% clear yet but the center of his face outwards is a dream compared to how besieged by spots it once was. What my 16 yr-old brother generally likes about a scrub or facial cleanser is pretty straightforward, something that cleans deeply, helps prevent or heal acne, doesn’t smell weird, and won’t dry out his skin. He seems to be quite a happy camper at the moment with this Garnier Pure Active Multi-Action Scrub ( and Garnier is available like almost everywhere) which he says works really well. He’s had nothing to say about other cleansers I bought him in the past. You see, as his annoying, fussy, much older (13-yrs) beauty blogger sister I hold the banner high in the conscious revolt against his acne. He just plays football with the Kaya league while the sunblock nag sits in the sidelines. Oh, what would his face do without me? I actually got him the “oh so acclaimed” La Roche Posay Effaclar Cleansing Gel when we were in Hong Kong and he hated it, he kept putting it back on my sink and I’d put it back on his (repeat 5x) ’til finally he claimed he was peeling so bad from dryness after using it. So he prefers the significantly cheaper Garnier one now.
Okay now onto the stuff that works from the inside out. Before we were given these local AcneCare Lactoferrin capsules, last year UK Company Works With Water emailed me and sent me boxes of sachets of their soluble fiber form Lactoferrin called Help Clear Skin. Lactoferrin is not medication, it is a natural milk protein that inhibits the body’s development of a certain bacteria that causes zits. That was a once-a-day dosage taken mixed with water, it was tasteless my brother said, and it really cleared up his skin after a month. You can read the introductory post of Help Clear Skin Lactoferrin here which explains how Lactoferrin works, it’s the same thing that AcneCare contains, and the conclusive review here. Of course, Works With Water UK only gave me a limited supply. I was actually thinking what was I to do once we ran out of Help Clear Skin sachets? Then AcneCare (bless you guys, sorry this has taken so long) in mid-September sent me 3 bottles of their AcneCare Lactoferrin capsules, 30 capsules per bottle, which my brother now takes day and night. AcneCare Lactoferrin is combined with Linumlife and Zinc to work even better against acne. What’s wonderful is AcneCare is available locally at Mercury Drug and Watsons for the reasonable price of Php885.00 per bottle and it’s reassuring to know it’s something that actually works for my brother at least. I figured I’d put this up for the number of guys reading this blog (which I can count on one hand) or the doting moms in the house who have oily spotty teenagers. Hope this helps For more information AcneCare has a Facebook page here. If you feel the least bit uncomfortable about trying it over the counter consult your dermatologist first!
Many people in the beauty blogosphere abroad, at least all over Europe for now, are talking about an acne-preventive treatment that’s actually been working for many of them for acne prevention and clear skin maintenance. The word of mouth skin renaissance that’s taking a lot of Europe by storm is brought to you by the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo. Ever since both Tanya Burr, Ruth Crilly, and several other bloggers shared their love for the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Skin Duo treatment this reportedly has has been flying off shelves by the thousands. The European formulation of this works as an acne-preventive all-over moisturizer. The thing is it’s great for treating acne that exists and preventing future acne while it does the good enough job of moisturizing for daytime they say. However STOP! I mean stop right now, if you are in the U.S. or about to ask someone in the U.S. to get it for you because you need to know the difference in formulations between the Effaclar duo made in France and the one made in the U.S., they’re just not the same. The one that all these girls are raving about is the one made in Europe. Please disregard the allure stamp of approval on the U.S. image on the right, I was just too lazy to remove it even though it was distracting. I explain to you the difference in a few seconds…just as Ruth Crilly did in this video of her monthly favorites with her mom.
The reason why the US formulation of La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo is different from the European one is is it contains 5.5 benzoyl peroxide, an intense, zit-zapping target medication for existing pimples so it certainly shouldn’t be used all over the face the way the other one can be. The U.S. formulation is an Allure award-winning targeted spot treatment so you only put it directly on problem spots and areas, not on your entire face and I’m sure it works great that way, too. The European Effaclar Duo formulation is a reported favorite because it’s paraben-free and they say even if you haven’t got a lot of acne all the time or if you hardly ever get zits it still works at helping unclog pores of overstaying blackheads and whiteheads (I’ve got lots) which can eventually become zits if infected. The European Effaclar Duo fights skin congestion across the face, helps and soothes with hydration, and if you’ve got zits Ruth and/or Tanya says it supposedly eases them out properly with less damage to the skin. I’ve actually just bought myself a tube of the European formulation off ebay from a Greek seller link here, it was 50% off and she also sells lots of other great skincare brands like Korres and Vichy Dermablend. Hoping it arrives sooner than later. I also gota Korres Thyme & Honey Exfoliating cleanser from the same seller which had free shipping so I bought it and made it ride along with my Effaclar duo. They should both get here in ’bout 3 weeks.
What you are looking at is not a paint pot! Where has MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer been all my life? Right under our noses at the MAC boutiques overshadowed by the popularity of its more slippy “sister” MAC Studio Finish concealer which I have reviewed in the past. I think it’s also possible that because of the packaging that’s exactly the same as the MAC Paint Pots people may not have recognized this in-store as a concealer. I’m sure a number of you have already discovered Studio Sculpt for yourselves noh? Well, possibly not because a lot of us go by recommendation. Let’s talk about the other one first. MAC Studio Finish, was made a massive sellout majorly because of recommendation by the UK’s Pixiwoo sisters and many other influential individuals online. I don’t doubt that its more moist texture is probably great in dry countries but the thing is here…in this tropical country, in the summer, nah. Don’t get me wrong, MAC Studio Finish is a great concealer in a dry air-conditioned room or studio (for fast photo shoots) but outdoors Studio Finish doesn’t stand a chance on your face unless you have extremely dry skin or powder it silly every half hour. At room temperature Studio Finish sits in my kit, greasy shine collecting on top. MAC Studio Sculpt on the other hand surprised me at the testing counter with stronger cling to the skin in a humid climate and a more solid make of cake. It’s got awesome pigmented coverage, is not as greasy as Studio Finish, and for storage glory points hey look, it comes in a glass pot you can twist really tight to keep it fresh.
It’s nice for a change to see a product that says “Made in Italy” that doesn’t occur too often. MAC Studio Sculpt concealer has a comparable finish to Bobbi Brown’s creamy concealer, it’s just ever so slightly…as in slightly thicker and is reasonably less expensive at Php1000 a pot, you get relatively the same amount of product as a Studio Finish pot. Read more to see this product swatched and applied on me.