Bless My Bag

beauty bagged by a cheeky Filipina

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.

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.

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.

Diorskin Nude BB Creme SPF 10 | Pretty, But Define Subtle…

The hype semi-sorta got to me, more so after people went ballistic for the stuff when Lisa Eldridge put it on last April…and even more especially since my favorite vloggers like Anna of Vivianna Does Makeup, Lily Pebbles, and Estee of Essiebutton could NOT step on the brakes when raving about Diorskin Nude BB Cream.  Yes, I blame them, yes, I also blame me…but I’m telling you, I was spotting that all too familiar sheer soft glow on their faces whenever they seemed to have it on for YouTube…or was it just make-believe?

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 “Diorskin Nude BB Crème provides the benefits of skincare and makeup in a fresh and airy formula. Enhanced with mineralized floral water and a blend of antioxidants, it moisturizes, smooths, protects, and corrects skin with sheer coverage. Available in expert shades to match every skintone, the complexion is illuminated with a unique fresh glow and dewy finish.”

The fact that I could also somewhat spot when they weren’t wearing it made all the difference.  However the product’s subtlety had me thinking whether I was really seeing things or just hoping to see things (remember the emperor’s new clothes?).  It is supposedly the sublimely subtle BB Creme for girls with clear skin (due to its sheer but noticeable effect).  So what was the deal, was I seeing the effect, or was I not seeing the effect?  I actually had to find out for myself.  By the way sorry about the chapped lips in the second set of before and after shots after the jump, forgot to scrub them before shooting. Read more to see simple before and after shots of this on my face plus my two cents and just about everything in between the truth and the hype about this here BB Creme by Dior.

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The Personal Care Prepper | A Tale About Backups

I don’t have a shelved and inventoried stockpile of products sitting in a titanium lined bomb shelter, but I do have a number of specific items I can count on one hand (minus the foundation because that makes 6 lol) that I do not like running out of.  They’re not at all last season’s embossed makeup palettes but they do belong in a beauty blog and have more meaningful functions in my life.  Prepping is on everyone’s mind now and relevantly speaking I do go through these like the Shinkansen and nobody’s business.  I’ve placed the nearly empty ones in front in case you can notice the difference at all.  The only thing I wouldn’t say is not nearly empty is my Earl Grey Hurraw vegan lip balm which is approaching halfway and my Shiseido foundation.

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Delon Argan Oil Conditioner (S&R Membership Shopping grocery), Le Couvent Des Minime Gentle Cleansing Milk (currently 30% off at SM Watsons beauty floors…), J&C Super Clean Solutions Makeup Brush spray (contains alcohol), Dr. Woods Liquid Castile Soap w/ Shea Butter (for deep shampooing makeup brushes), Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation, Hurraw Earl Grey Lip Balm

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Stories about acquiring the backups and the reasons behind them are more interesting I think than the backups themselves, they prove their worth (for individual reviews I’ve done click on the product names).  These were “stockpiled” randomly over the last 4 months.

The Delon Argan Oil Conditioner I actually did not stock up on at S&R the first time when I believed stocking up was sort of pretentious and when I ran out it was temporarily GONE from S&R for months and I blamed myself daily, it’s the only conditioner that actually makes me feel that it really contains Argan Oil plus it emulsifies a little bit and rinses leaving that healthy glow or sheen my dull hair craves for.  Then mom spotted the conditioner again at S&R a few grocery stops ago and she got me four bottles plus one for herself.

The Le Couvent Des Minime Gentle Cleansing Milk I’ve just really run out of words for, it’s such a comforting soothing cleanser with rose botanicals that doesn’t foam, doesn’t have mineral oil, but still removes makeup while it cleanses (except waterproof mascara).  I have this bad feeling that people aren’t noticing this L’Occitane sister brand as much as they should in the SM watsons beauty halls, please help them do well so that this brand stays here LOL!!  I don’t want them pulling out any time soon, don’t give me more reasons to stock up, lol.

As I mentioned in my last post for the J&C Super Clean Solutions Makeup Brush Spray I found the perfect opportunity to stock up when I ran out.  I checked with the team that works it out last July 28, apparently they were going to have a price increase come August so I decided to get two bottles while it was still Php395, it now retails for Php595.  It takes about 4-5months for me to get through one.  If you’re looking for an alcohol-free brush cleansing spray a reader of mine named Soleil just mentioned the Ellana Brush Cleanser…which I’m also keen to try.

The Dr. Woods liquid Castile soap  from HEALTHY OPTIONS is pretty much an all-around sort of product safe to use for people and general cleaning but I buy it primarily to shampoo my makeup brushes.  Two overflowing caps to a cup of water is the ratio that works for me then just repeat the amount if you need more of the solution.  Dip, swirl, and lather up your brushes with it on your hand, repeating till the lather is white then rinse thoroughly. It’s a good and sufficient Dr. Bronner’s dupe and is safe to use on yourself as well as your brushes.  My favorite variant for brushes is the peppermint one but I love that they have an unscented BABY version for people with sensitive skin who need their brushes to be completely free of any possible irritants.  The tea tree variant I’ve not opened yet but have on hand should be good for keeping germs and bacteria at a minimum.  I do recommend you use this and NOT Joy Antibac detergent as I previously recommended (Joy didn’t break me out but broke someone else out) to ensure skin safety.

On the Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation there is no need to say much because I’ve already reviewed it.  It’s a favorite and the one I reach for the most currently.  The backup story of this has sort of a twist because I really got one more in a shade darker because I accidentally tanned (waking up late by a bedroom window where the sun rises).  I then realized I was slowly running out of the first lighter shade I had, right now I’ve been mixing the two as I slowly lose my tan.

And last but not the least, my soooo affordably luxurious Hurraw Earl Grey Lip Balm  available from Cutieverse.com or email rebecca@cutieverse.com for more information (if I’m not mistaken these are already retailing at Beyond Yoga BGC fort).  Since I was contacted to review the products originally I shamelessly asked if I could have a backup of Earl Grey and Cutieverse were glad to supply my Earl Grey fix.  I keep reaching for it and when I can’t find it in my bag I feel a little incomplete without it.  The Hurraw Earl Grey scent and flavor is just so comforting and there are not enough words to describe how perfect the texture is for a cold-pressed vegan lip balm.  It tops any other pocketable balms I’ve tried so far.

That pretty much sums up the stuff I have backups for.  One thing you can never have a backup for though is the people you love, you need to be with them while they exist and spread the truth about love with others.  More than anything I think that’s what really matters should we begin talking about expiration dates and human existence, because time running out is real.

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Steve Carell, Keira Knightley – Seeking a Friend for the End of the world

Sentiment aside, is there anything you kind of stock up on in particular whether from the grocery, from a makeup boutique, or something from abroad?  I’m really interested to hear about what you guys like to have on hand.  Tell me in the comments if you feel like it.

 

 

 

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