REVLON Nail Enamel in “Whimsical” | A unicorn sort of shade for Php225

I first spotted Revlon’s Nail Enamel in Whimsical over a year and a half ago on Jen’s (frmheadtotoe.com) nails.  It’s one of those nail polishes you cannot describe to someone in one sentence.  It’s not boring but not too loud either, it’s a cute party in itself but not sickeningly so, and when I say it’s a unicorn sort of shade I only mean to say it’s one of a kind.  The blue and pink flecks (large and small) suggest a perfect baby shower-esque polish for someone having twins of both sexes (what a stretch, obviously my mind is on a conveyor belt in the other room).  Have you ever eaten multicolored marshmallow cereal and had the milk change into a murky indescribable shade?  That almost…almost hits the nail on the head.  It’s more like a murky powder blue…that’s almost grey.  All photos are shot with 3 coats layered and no top coat except for the one shot where I indicate “2 coats”.  Did I forget to mention that this is an almost spot on dupe for Deborah Lippmann’s “Glitter in the Air”?

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What’s nice about Revlon “Whimsical” is its sheer milky finish, but you see a significant build up in coverage with each coat you add.  On the first coat it looks completely transparent, on the second coat you already get a  nice milky wash, the third coat almost makes the the nail edge disappear.  The especially cool thing with the large and small glitter flecks is that (as you can see in the close up in the bottle) with each layer the glitters on the topmost layer remain most visible and the glitters in the layers underneath diminish softly giving extra depth.  I bought this for Php225 from the nail bar over at SM Aura’s Beauty Section in the department store.  They’ve still got the NEW stickers on BUT be aware that these are from a collection released almost 2 years ago (bottle is marked Revlon 2011) so the stock isn’t completely new meaning you’ll need a fresh good quality top coat to finish this properly.  The polish itself is still okay it’s just that it needs a bit of help for staying power.… To full post & COMMENTS...

MAC Riri Hearts “Heaux” Lipstick | A Redder Berry w/ Retro Matte Staying Power

Say hello to my second MAC lipstick purchase ever in my entire lifetime, yes, I currently only own two, the other is a Pro Longwear shade which I’ll review if I get it back from my friend (Hello, Krista).  Two others I have owned in the past were gifts, a Viva Glam from my godmother and “Amorous” an earthy berry  hand-me-down from mom.  It doesn’t matter that cranberry and ox-blood shades come off as stereotypical during the ‘Ber months…, no matter how stereotypical dark lipstick may be towards the end of the year women will still get those Tom Ford “Black Orchid” inspired shades.  This is nowhere as dark as “Black Orchid” but it swims in the same hue pool.  Megablogger Christine of Temptalia.com gave this one an A-, she likes that though like any other matte lipstick it can tend to get patchy at the end of the day it’s still a creamier, silkier texture than the other permanent retro mattes in MAC’s lippie dynasty.

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Now, I didn’t look up the meaning of “Heaux” before I bought it, I naively thought it meant Hue (since it’s from a summer collection) and when I looked up the meaning now (just now, give me a gold medal), I cringed.  Lord, protect me, it means a number of things like hex (ugh…in JESUS’ name!), or someone else online said “heaux” (prostitute) but I’m not entirely sure if that’s accurate, it probably is.  I didn’t stop to think that the name might mean anything remotely dark because MAC Riri Hearts is a limited edition SUMMER collection for crying out loud.  I’d rather think about the third less harmful translation of Heaux which is “of or pertaining to a number system having 16 as its base”.  There…whew, seriously not kidding, had I known most likely I may not have gotten it.  To those who are thinking I’m overreacting, I’m not, things like that really matter to me.  I just really went for it after seeing via instagram what a lovely crimson berry it is.

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I purchased this lipstick from the Instagram seller @maquillajeonlinestore for Php1100 (free shipping).  It would have arrived within a day or two if it weren’t for the Maring Monsoon, it got to me within about 5 days and that’s forgivable.  The lipstick looks a little more vampy when the sky is overcast or beneath white light.  During warm daylight it wears a bit more crimson, but you’ll notice when you apply the first layer that it has a strong magenta undertone, a plummy cranberry sort of fusion but I like that it still contains a lot of red so you can still consider it a rouge.  The texture is a true retro matte.  Matte lipsticks in humid countries can also tend to sometimes ball up in bits around the lip or get a bit more patchy.  Compared to Ruby Woo this one does it less, full wear after one meal shows little damage, just remember not to rub your napkin across your mouth and blot over the lips instead, then touch up a bit direct from the bullet.  Primary application of matte lipsticks is best with a lip brush, laying down an even stain first before adding the thicker 2nd layer to complete opaqueness.  Then seal the deal by a good strong blot with tissue.  Watch how Lisa Eldridge does a proper matte lip with MAC Ruby Woo here.

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Revlon Lash Potion (Grow Luscious) Mascara | Length + Volume the Wispy Way

Since my last favorite L’Oreal False Lash Telescopic mascara is on its way out past the 6 month mark (you should see how horrid the tube looks, peeling to bits) I picked up the locally available NEW Revlon Lash Potion Mascara in the waterproof variant (often, non-waterproof mascaras don’t hold lash curl).  I’m quite the sucker for cute packaging and I think Revlon went really smart and magical with the colorway of this tube, I like having it in my pouch.  The performance catch most great mascaras have in exchange for photogenic lashes is the stiff brittle texture on lashes.  Last year I raved about Maybelline Full N’ Soft waterproof mascara which isn’t available here.  That was a good all-around daily mascara that wasn’t clumpy for me, held curl well, and didn’t make my lashes completely feel like they’d passed through a deep fryer.  This one by Revlon is a comparably similar conditioning, intensifying formula that still leaves behind detectably attractive wisp and flutter on those lashes without the clumps.  Someone commented on my recent Benefit Gimme Brow review asking what mascara I was using because my lashes were more natural looking and I suppose they were also still noticeably bold and out there.  This was what I had on.  It’s my very first Revlon mascara purchase and I’ve never tried the original Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara in the green tube which the Pixiwoo sisters on Youtube use quite a lot so I won’t be making a comparison between this and that.  Basically, Revlon’s Grow Luscious mascara range combines a nourishing lash treatment formula with mascara.  The treatment does not cause lashes to grow but discourages breakage with strengthening proteins as lashes repopulate.

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“Magically transform lashes to lush, long and lustrous. A potion with strengthening proteins drenches lashes for volume. Triple-groove wand combs through for clump-free length.”

Volume and length provided by this mascara is moderate but noticeable.  So if you don’t want to go over the top this is great.  Note that you can build thickness with this beautifully so if you want to “Go bold or go home” this can do that for you if layered twice or thrice properly.  If you’ve been wondering about Maybelline Full N’ Soft in the U.S. Revlon Lash Potion  is extremely similar, it just comes with a bigger more traditional brush instead of plastic wand that separates lashes nicely for me, but I do wish the brush was tapered smaller at the tip  like the original Revlon Grow Luscious wand.  My only peeve about this brush is for small to medium eyes (especially Oriental lids) application can be a bit messy against the edge of the eyelid because of the size of the brush, but for more than medium to large eyes you will love this.  My eye size is right smack in the middle so I’m fine working with it.  The way this mascara makes my lashes appear and feel more wispy instead of crispy is totally worth the once in awhile small smudges I get upon application.  The waterproof variant, which is what I have, lasts well throughout the day without smudging along the top lashline, on the bottom lashline it’s not as effective, it smudges just a wee bit but doesn’t make a huge mess.  Ergo it may not be the best bottom lash mascara so use it sparingly along there.  For the waterproof varian there is some strong resistance to makeup remover but not a whole lot to cause a headache.

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At the moment I’ll throw in a “better together” mention with the Kevyn Aucoin lash curler.  Compared to the Shu lash curler the KA curler (red silicon pad), which Lisa Eldridge uses alternately sometimes, gives a different  effect.  It doesn’t give a tight “C” showbiz sort of curl across all lashes, it gives a more gentle forwardly flared out curl that looks more natural as you’ll see in the photos I’ve just posted.

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Just as I hate corkscrew curls that aren’t brushed out after a curling iron I cannot stand over-curled lashes that bend back on themselves.  For majorly stubborn lashes though that uncurl on their own I still recommend the Shu Uemura curler for a super tight perm because the “C” will uncurl slightly to give that natural effect  if your lashes are stubborn.  I like how the KA curler works for me in the sense that it flares the lashes at the outer eye corner enhancing the wispy effect of Revlon Lash Potion mascara even more.  I purchased the Kevyn Aucoin lash curler for Php1,000 via Pure Beauty at Serendra (2nd floor above Mamou then walk right)  Note to buyers, for the Revlon Lash Potion mascara it’s not one of the cheaper mascaras locally, it’s about Php750…which is practically double the U.S. price ($7.99/Php360+) but it’s nonetheless here, within reach in leading department stores and PCX plus Watsons boutiques.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Za Plumper Lips Lipstick | My Dream High Shine Drugstore Lipstick

This, ho boy…THIS is exactly what I wished a glossy lipstick should be, and don’t turn away (I know Pinay girls prefer matte textures) it isn’t sheer at all.  What can I say, I like it so much I want more colors, that’s when you know a lip product is fab.  I had actually imagined and wished that the lip butters that everyone was raving about last year had this sort of chic plump finish with great staying power.  If you’re looking to optically “plump” up those lips (great for petite pouts) without the common discomfort that glossy products usually give Za’s Plumper Lips Lipstick ought to be your weapon of choice.  I’m also smitten by the lipstick packaging which is a rosy chrome laced with a Za monogram pattern on the cap.  I was given the shade Rose Vintage by the Za team which is a warm creamy pink (Php425 via SM Department store beauty sections).

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The texture is unique when you first swatch it, because it’s a super smooth high shine lipstick with some “drag” to the swipe instead of complete “slip”…which is indicative of added staying power.  The longevity isn’t as formidable as something like Max Factor Lipfinity (which shrinks over the lip when it sets) but it’s just enough long wear given the sort of product that it is.  I’d say it could last 3 hours through 1 meal.  After eating or drinking twice of course you’d have to top up.  But you have to agree, isn’t topping up those lips a fun part of being a girl? :)

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See how it significantly lays on color?  Please note, I actually had dry lips and some flaky bits but the lip product helped in partly concealing that.  I’m not usually fond of high shine lipsticks but I haven’t stopped using this since I first tried it ( I short of frantically begin to upend furniture when it’s out of sight).  We all know high shine lip products will fade throughout the day, but this fades gracefully not messily and since it’s in lipstick form it’s so easy to top up without straying beyond the lip edge.  I totally love that the color is OBVIOUS but not over the top.  I always look for it when my lips are bare and feel every bit more “Angelina Jolie”-esque when I have it on :).  Za Plumper Lips Lipstick costs Php425 via  Watsons’ beauty sections at SM Department Stores.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Benefit Gimme Brow! | Believable Brows

The partial reason why I accumulate backlog is not primarily because I’m lazy, but more because I want to give the products sent to me a good test run first in my day to day life.  Wouldn’t it be strange if you just up front blogged about something you’ve just opened up?  Not that I’ve never done that, there are some products that are what they are when you first try them, but others have more to prove over time.  You cannot imagine how often I’ve been reaching for this since the day Benefit gave it to me.  This brow pick is a win, primarily because of the natural look it gives and how simple it is to use, I only wish it came in more than just 2 shades, the one I have is light/medium, there’s another shade perfect for Filipinas who don’t color their hair which is Medium/deep.

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“Bring on the brows! This innovative brush-on fiber gel adheres to skin & hair…creating brows where before there were none. It builds easily for thick, lush arches, thanks to a tapered brush for blending & precision tip for shaping. Available in two shades.  Using short pressing motions, stroke brush tip along brow to define shape. Comb through to blend & build brows. For the most natural look, start at the inner edge of your brow and move outward. Repeat to add more volume.”

INNOVATIVE BRUSH-ON FIBER GEL  3.0g Net wt. 0.1oz.
• Water resistant  
• Long-wearing 
• Natural-looking 
• Buildable
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 The itty-bitty wand brings the bottom lash wand of another brand to mind, but there’s no relevant connection between this and that, they serve two completely separate functions.  All I know is that for sparse or small brows (lacking thickness) this itty-bitty wand is a dream to work with, it applies just the right amount of product so you can build with it and you can add proper details to brows without a fuss.  It does give medium strength hold for stubborn hairs that refuse to stay in place.  I’ve already tried it on someone with curly thick hair, it didn’t completely straighten the hairs out but overall it gave the brow proper direction and shape.  The shades available aren’t very warm, they’re quite neutral which is a better match for my ashy dark blonde haircolor.  If you’ve got warmer, blonder hair, none of these shades will match you.  I do appreciate that light/medium is extremely similar or close match for MAC’s Lingering brow pencil, Medium/Deep is more of a match for MAC Spiked or Stud.
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There’s an effect that can be more natural when brushing tint through brows rather than drawing them on, for medium sparseness it totally works.  I’m kind of allergic to calligraphic looking drawn on brows that look too graphically perfect or sharp at the tail because that doesn’t look natural anymore to me, for cosplay or theatrical looks those are fine but for everyday they’re a no-no.  Some of them even look like stickers or worse obviously stenciled on.  You won’t get that effect with this product.
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I’ve tried one or two popular brow tints but I didn’t like how much product came out on the wand and the wet gloopy feeling on my brows because of too much product.  There is of course the common sense tip to wipe off the excess against the mouth of the tubes, but in a rush I get frustrated to make a mental note to actually do it.  With this I don’t have to wipe the excess off, there’s just enough!  I don’t hesitate to allow the tint to touch the skin beneath the brows since that helps in providing an illusion of thickness in my case.  If the brow hair population you’ve got is more even you can brush the tint just on the hairs.  I turn the wand on its tip to do slimmer strokes where the brow tapers and I turn it flat on its side if I want a thicker spread of product.  The key is brushing from root to tip and following the direction of hair growth which is usually up and out towards the side of the face.  Benefit Gimme Brow costs Php900 at local Benefit Cosmetics boutiques :).  Use the testers to find your correct shade in stores.… To full post & COMMENTS...

The Budget Hair Reboot | Human Nature Clarifying Shampoo + Organix Masque

We all need that turnaround point after hair has withered beneath the surfactants of shampoos and styling products. Wazzat? I heard “Hair is dead…” from somewhere in the back. I never said we needed to treat it with pity, but we sure do need to treat the surface (as we would a cuticle) it if you want to look good. Let’s be honest though…clarifying shampoos and treatments add significantly to cost. “Hair masques” or in our language “deep conditioners” can be expensive, but I’ve just tried a combination that I wouldn’t say is a “miracle tandem” but is quite effective and not too weighty on the wallet either. One of them is a brand new product I was sent.

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Organix Moroccan Argan Creme Sheer Opulence Hair Masque, Human Nature 100% Natural Clarifying Shampoo

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Key Ingredient Sources: Water, Coconut, Aloe, Sugarcane, Sugarbeet, Rice, Anise, NO SLS/SLES, ALS/ALES, PEGs, parabens, synthetic fragrances silicones or harmful chemicals PHP149.75

Who wouldn’t want to try a clarifying shampoo offering by Human Nature? The livelihood boosting brand has made a heartwarming footprint in the beauty industry delivering naturally derived, mild yet effective locally made products to people’s doorsteps. Their products are also available in select groceries like Rustan’s Fresh and in their various Human Nature outlets nationwide. They’ve now brought out a lovely clarifying shampoo free of nasties. I think it still contains some naturally derived sulfates so will have to double check if it is safe for colored hair, though I do almost believe it is because no SLS/SLES or ALS/ALES. I also think given the absence of nasties it would make a great children’s shampoo though it would be good to double check if it stings the eyes, it didn’t enter mine when I was showering, it might be a different case with long hair.

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Available from SM Watsons for Php449.50

This Argan Creme Sheer Opulence Masque by Organix is a good, rich, deep conditioner. The name is undeniably decadent but I think it was a bit of a stretch to call it a hair masque. Although Php450 is far from the price hike of a balmy Kerastase masque I still really wish this was a lot more like a masque (because it’s labeled as one) and a lot less like a conditioner. Human Nature do a nice avocado hair masque which I reviewed before and that really was what I expected it to be. I’m not completely let down with this though…it smells nice, mildly perfumed like sunny holiday with a non-sickly hint of coconut. I expect anything called a masque to be pasty thick, almost like body scrubs or an alternative example being gelato which forms peaks from density. It isn’t as thick like that…it’s got the soufflé texture of a local Cream Silk conditioner. It is a nice, nourishing Argan formula similar to the Delon conditioner I use daily, but a little more rich than that. This together with the Human Nature shampoo have given me a good hair reboot for the long weekend plus they don’t break the bank.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Color Club Nail Polish 740 “Frills | Just the Right Bright

Not another milky coral!  As if there weren’t enough invading your screen online.  Yes, another one, one that matches me perfectly.  Best described as a pomelo or ripe guava pink, Color Club’s Pro Nail Lacquer in 740 is actually a terribly streaky formula (you didn’t see that coming did you…) but this was a case wherein the color was so darn perfect I’ve justified dealing with that to wear it.  I’ve adjusted it only a little by pouring some Bobbie white in to thicken it, because the formula was too runny (possibly Color Club stock that was left on the shelves for too long), after my quick mix it settled and worked better, the color didn’t change too much, hardly noticeable lighter difference. It’s just a little bit more bright in real life vs. these photos, I think a close match (and probably better formula) would be Orly’s Pixy Stix.

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The special thing I noticed about this particular shade, when worn against fair to medium skin, is at night the color amps up miraculously.  It isn’t a true fluoro, neon, glow-in-the-dark or any of that jazz…something about it just naturally amps up visually come nighttime.  So it’s a sweet shade during the day, but somehow at night…and I really don’t know how, it’s an optical effect, artificial lights hit this and it’s ready to party.

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Color Club polishes are everywhere locally, they’re at Bench pharmacies like PCX and First Aid and also in SM Watsons beauty floors.  The quality isn’t consistent per color so this is probably one of the OFF ones that’s been sitting there too long.  What I’ve also found in trying to make this streaky Color Club formula work is that Caronia’s Nail Hardening Base Coat works just as many wonders as a top coat…funnily enough even better than their actual Top Coat (which bubbled up on me…annoying).  The Caronia base coat used as a top coat even made some fingerprint and small nick accidents after application disappear.  The only catch is the base coat is not as fast drying as a true top coat so you have to wait longer but patience pays off. It can help well loved shades with ugly formulas work for you.  Color Club “Frills”  also a deadringer for Benefit Cosmetics’ signature coral-ly pink, that’s the most familiar color comparison I can give I think.  Color Club Frills cost under Php220 from PCX Alabang.… To full post & COMMENTS...

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