Updated Skincare June 2014 | My Fab Four Picks to Flawless

My skin had an urge for a skincare purge.  The current skincare arsenal for this update has turned out to be quite minimal!  Though they be few though they are potent and with just these four products my skin has been feeling calm, clean, and supple.  Not every item is used daily but I haven’t been reaching for anything more than beyond these four…for now.  What a drastic dial down, no?  On the contrary, my skin has never felt more on the way up.  I just realized in the last week that I had practically no whiteheads this month when I cut down to these four, nearly next to none.

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THE CREAMY CLEANSER – Andalou Naturals Apricot Probiotic Cleansing milk (Php500+ @ Healthy Options)

While I went on and on genuinely last year about Les Couvent Des Minimes’ Beneficial Rose Cleansing Milk the truth is that one is over Php200 more expensive than this one by Andalou Naturals, their Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk which I have reviewed individually here.  There is something just organically spot on with how this cleanser makes my skin feel after, it doesn’t feel stripped I also like that this creamy cleanser works quite well with this next gadget.

THE GLAM GADGET – The Clarisonic Mia 2 ($149.00 @ Macy’s NYC)

Yes, when I was in New York City, US I went for it and got myself a Clarisonic Mia 2 for my birthday (using a Macy’s gift card thanks, Tita Marisu) which now boasts 2 speeds.  I got the limited edition polka dot one (though I’m kind of wishing I got the plain baby pink one).  My mistake was in assuming this whole time that the Clarisonic brush-heads spin when they actually just make gentle sonic vibrations that cause the bristles to gently cleanse and exfoliate the skin’s surface without causing irritation, they also sell different brush heads separately.  The Clarisonic Mia 2 also pulses in the midst of cleansing when it’s time to move to another area of the face.  I use this about every other day, something like a Mon, Wed or Fri.  It nicely preps the skin surface to receive serums, facial oils, or moisturizers.

THE SERUM YOU SHOULDN’T BE SCARED OF – Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (New Improved, Synchronized Recovery Complex II)

As stated by lovely skincare expert, Caroline Hirons’ via her blog here, the improved version of Estee Lauder’s NEW Advanced Night Repair is apparently a much better offering than its predecessor, right off the bat it contains way less silicone. “It is oil and fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, thus suitable for sensitive and acnaic skins…” and now it also contains a lot of good hyaluronic acid to plump up that pretty fez.  I put 2 drops of it on at night after cleansing before my moisturizer (up next) and I don’t get any sting or itch with this and I wake up to a visibly “corrected” skin surface.  I use it like twice or thrice a week.

THE MILKY MOISTURIZER – Kate Somerville Goat’s Milk Cream (for sensitive skin) $50+

When I first got this I thought this highly acclaimed moisturizer would be too rich for me, but when I started using less skincare in conjunction with it this product had room to shine (I don’t mean visually) on its own and it works beautifully applied minutes  after my gentle Estee Lauder NEW Advanced Night Repair Serum before bed.  It’s got a neutral milky scent and sinks in well overnight and I don’t wake up sticky.  It does the job of coating your skin treatment really well.

The result of when I’ve just used all 4 of these products in sequence, which was last night, is today’s skin…what a joy.  My face feels clean, hydrated, not sticky, and properly reset for the rest of the week, and for some reason I can’t feel a single whitehead or congested pore, even now that it’s 950PM, a long time already from last night my face still feels this way now, baby butt-ness.

 

 

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Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Skin Perfecting Base | No Wonder They Love It

This has been around for a couple of years now.  It’s been generally labeled by the brand as an ultra light foundation and it’s been hailed by a healthy number of bloggers as the sheer, tinted moistie-ish (serious vocab butchery right here) luxury base that many of them return to when in doubt.  It’s even been used a number of times for red carpet looks.  Behold the unrivaled Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua.

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“The tiniest drop of this new hybrid fluid creates a fresh, natural complexion. Skin looks refined and feels refreshed, creating an exquisite makeup experience. The fluid formula has a soft, water-light texture, and comes in 10 shades that match perfectly to skin’s undertones, whether pink or beige. Dermatologist-tested. Noncomedogenic. Oil- free.

Winner of Allure magazine’s ‘Best of Beauty’ award for Best Light Coverage Foundation, 2013.” – source: Nordstrom 

The premium brand name apparently lays only partial claim on why it is well-loved.  I see and know why now.   I’ve been reaching for it constantly ever since I bought it in Duty Free HK for about $USD 51 on the way to New York last April.  I totally get it now.  CHANEL Vitalumiere Aqua truly has a special quality of its very own.  It’s been reviewed nearly countless times online but who cares  it certainly deserves a spot on my blog because of how much I use it, I think I’m going to run out soon.  Read more for the full post.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Hygienix Antibacterial Spray | Disinfect the Handy Way

In the past, probably over a year ago, I received a couple of bottles of the Hygienix Antibacterial Spray from a random loot bag. What blew me away was not just the clean scent and effectiveness of disinfecting Ethyl Alcohol but the awesome type of fine spray mist that the bottle provided.

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Anti-Bacterial Hand Spray is packed in a unique handy spray bottle formulated with moisturizers to keep hands soft and smooth. It has dual-scent technology that is cool and refreshing” – available in 55ml and 20ml at Php25 and Php39.50

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It’s also one of the freshest and better smelling disinfectant products I have come across and since it mists so well and so finely it’s a great staple to have in my professional makeup kit to help disinfect newly washed hands before working on clients.  Hygienix the brand also provides other ethyl alcohol based disinfecting products for your personal use, from regular ethyl alcohol to their own version of hand sanitizing gel, the brand Hygienix certainly does the job of properly disinfecting for your well-being.  Hygienix products are available at SM, Robinsons Supermarkets and Department stores, 7/11 stores, Mercury Drug and more places nationwide.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Edgemeister Mascara WP | Unbeatable Length & Waterproof Curl

I have been wearing practically no other mascara than this (with an  exception on 2 or 3 days) since I returned from Boracay last May 4.  When you rekindle sentiment with an old favorite that is just as reliable as this one and have been receiving compliments every single time you have it on you just have to write about it again.  Since 2010 I have raved about Majolica Majorca’s mascaras, a Shiseido daughter brand for the Japanese drugstore market which is available at SM Beauty floors and select Watsons branches.  Mom and I were fans of the Lash Expander Frame WP Mascara for the longest time but they stopped importing that one or phased it out and the next best one that’s most similar (practically the same or just renamed) is their Lash Expander Edge Meister Mascara (Waterproof pink, make sure it’s the one with pink butterflies on it, the green one is non-waterproof and won’t hold curl at all).  Mom said it’s the same quality as the one we used to get but she noticed she got more believable length on it which she loves, I noticed the same thing.

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Nothing in my opinion beats Majolicas waterproof lengthening fiber mascaras, you will simply never smudge unless you apply an oil based product on your lashes.  So some people don’t like this mascara because of how hard it is to remove and because they don’t know how to curl their lashes properly to get the optimum result which would be this.  I wore this while swimming in Boracay.  If you have an oil cleanser or bi-phase makeup remover, just a bit more effort is needed to remove this, be gentle when you do.

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If you put some effort into that curl before applying this…lashes just become gorgeous, and if you build this up you can make your eyes look like you’ve got false lashes on.  Basically, a proper fiber mascara will make you look like you have lashes if you barely have any and will give the appearance of more lashes if you naturally have an average amount.

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My mom prefers no other mascara because it never smudges and holds the lash curl you tried with all your dearest dexterity to achieve.  I use this mascara on brides almost every time because no matter how much they may cry it stays put and it adds length.  I sometimes use a different mascara if I want something less heavy duty, but if I want something super reliable and resistant to heat, sweat, and humidity I only use this!  Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Edgemeister Waterproof (whew) Mascara is available at select SM Beauty Floors and Watsons outlets for about Php750 or Php850? Sorry I haven’t checked if they’ve updated the price but last I checked it was between that range.  Make sure that if you want the waterproof one that you get the one with pink butterflies on it, not green.

 

 

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The Winner of my NYC Giveaway! PLUS The Beauty Prizes…

And finally, what has been a mystery for too long a time isn’t just who the giveaway winner is, but it also happens to be what prizes are in store for my blessed NYC giveaway winner :)  I’d like to congratulate CHE (myshakira08@yahoo.com) for you have won these lovely beauty “pasalubong” items from New York City!  I will for sure have sent you an email requesting for your shipping and contact details minutes after this post goes up.  The La Roche Posay Serozinc toner spray is actually a bonus item I threw in because a friend gave me two which came not from NYC, but from Europe :D  So I thought whoever the winner was would love that since it is also a Caroline Hirons recommendation (the Pixiwoo sisters spray it on in this video interview with skincare expert Caroline).  Serozinc Zinc-Sulfate Spray toner for the face helps prevent breakouts and speed up the healing process of existing zits, it also preps the face well for moisturizer.  A list of all the prizes I’ve picked is provided below.

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THE PRIZES FOR THE WINNER! – First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Polish (Exfoliator), Maybelline Full ‘N Soft Mascara Waterproof (my favorite easy-wear mascara), Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer (Particularly for dark undereye circles, the shade I got was a MAC NC25-30 match, darker shades were often out of stock or tricky to spot), La Roche Posay Serozinc (Zinc Sulfate Spray Solution), Mario Badescu Oil Free Moisturizer, Mario Badescu Fruit and Vitamin Hand cream sample, Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm primer sample.

Thanks to all you girls who joined my “Guess Where I’m Going Giveaway” last month, I was actually in New York City (see this post here) with my cousin and we met up with some friends and had a wonderful time there.  Japan isn’t the only place with cherry blossoms in the springtime by the way!  Cherry blossom trees were blooming in so many places in New York City especially in Central Park and West Village :).  So remember if you want to see cherry blossoms in the springtime, Japan isn’t the only destination to consider :).

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Friday Musings…

Hi, Everyone.  The person that is me is still here!  Slowly getting the blogging thing back together.  While I just haven’t quite got everything on the inside sorted just yet, I just wanted to let you all know I am here and I have no intention to stop beauty blogging okay :)  This stays!  If you haven’t read my recent mention in my NYC post I’ve just been having to go through certain difficult situations without sticking thoughts of beauty stuff in there along with it.  It’s challenging to shoot, blog, and post with something weighing on your mind and heart, but God is faithful to slowly turn around every single thing in ways you cannot imagine.  I continue to trust in Him completely, for joy, peace, love and everything I ever need, even when things go wrong sometimes.

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“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born.  Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home?  For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.”
C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

If the C.S. Lewis quote doesn’t drive home anything specific or relevant for you that’s okay, if it does, then cool, we’re on the same page, if not I don’t expect everyone to completely get it, but I really just wanted to post it.  Till We Have Faces is a heavy but beautiful read, and I shed tears years ago.  I still owe you guys the announcement of the giveaway winner and prizes, and that should be coming up next.  Thanks for being patient dear readers, those who are particularly waiting in the wings to read the next bunch of beauty posts coming your way.  I just haven’t been in the mood to take pictures of myself or pose lol or anything like that which particularly comes with the art of beauty blogging…whatever I’ve been going through it goes way back even before my NYC trip I was already troubled about it.  You guys know how shameless and fun I can be in front of the camera, but recently it wasn’t fun to do, and I didn’t feel like faking it.  I’m almost back, and I know some of you have been where I’m at right now…sort of, kind of, maybe-ish.  I’m actually in a place that isn’t so low anymore, some light rays have made their way in, and am gaining traction with my work so I’ve got lots of great things up ahead.  I’ve been praying for and sensing God’s leading and I know He has a huge plan and adventure for my life as long as I stay on His side.

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Clinique Airbrush Pen Concealer | Dispel Undereye Darkness Lightly

What you’re seeing is a “repurchase”.  I had one of these Clinique Airbrush Pen Concealers a few months back and used it up way too quickly before I could review it because I used it almost every time I went out for 2 months.  I was born with dark circles.  Seriously, I must’ve had some late nights in mom’s womb or something because as far back as I can remember they showed up in photos regardless of whether I slept well or not.  I also hated that people were always asking if I slept well or if I needed to rest when I was completely fine.  I thought I was being led on yet again only because of Lisa Eldridge’s magic and her pleasant product pushing hypnosis, but in fairness to her so far not one of her recommendations have ever disappointed.  Now I totally get why she prefers THIS PARTICULAR ONE by Clinique compared to dozens of pen concealer/highlighters out there.  The concealing  formula truly has some heft and coverage, not just micro luminosity.  It does work using some light reflection but not the sort using shimmer that gives ugly flashback in photos.  In short it’s got a level of acceptable “flashback” that you need.

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If I’m not mistaken the current retail price from local Clinique counters is Php1050 or Php1150.  The only con with this is locally (why again!!? in NYC they have 4 shades up to a really deep one) they only sell one shade Light 03 which would match of course me, a MAC NC30 girl (a yellow toned fair to medium shade).  Don’t let them sell it to you saying “it’s universal”.  Don’t ever accept that sort of “universal shade” sales talk when it comes to concealers and foundations unless it’s a chemically adjusting formula.  If it’s not your shade it is simply not your shade.  I guess the closest product with many shades that has a similar thin liquid formula for covering dark circles (no light reflection perk though) in a non-cake-y way is MAC Pro Longwear concealer.  I hate the packaging of the MAC one though, the small pump which gives too much, if that product was in pen form it would be perfect and similar to this, so Clinique wins over that because of packaging for me, and because the only shade they sell here is my shade, thankfully.  I got my second one with some saved up Rustan’s GCs.  The product comes through from a brush tip on top after you twist and click at the bottom.  It takes awhile for the product to come out when you first open it, but once it comes through it dispenses a bit more steadily with each twist.   Read more to see my before and after shots plus a photo taken several months back with flash at a music gig I attended.… To full post & COMMENTS...

ZOEVA Makeup Brushes, That Is All | The Luxe Complete Set

Zoella raved about these, Lily Pebbles did the same, and NikkieTutorials, a PRO makeup artist and YouTuber didn’t hesitate to say that they were better overall in her opinion than Sigma brushes or MAC brushes (most likely in the context of value for money).  I was almost tempted to say they were like Europe’s answer to Sigma brushes, but when Zoeva Cosmetics sent me my own Luxe Complete Brush Set to review, I changed my mind.  They look and feel better and quality looks more consistent across.  With Zoeva $60-$80 USD goes a long way, you can get already get a budget set.  The set I was sent though is about EUR105 because it’s a larger range with 15 brushes.  Plus you know the well-known habit of German made things lasting longer than your lifetime?  Throw that knowledge together with the look of this professional brush range and you’ve certainly got yourself a major contender in terms of performance in application.  No I haven’t tried them with products just yet but already just by their appearance, feel, and my professional experience I already know they’ll do excellently on the job.

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An exquisite selection of 15 of our finest brushes, made from a custom blend of natural and synthetic bristles. EUR105

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As a blogger, a few months back I actually browsed through the Zoeva site since the brush sets were gaining sparkling reviews at an amazing rate following the brand’s debut across several YouTube channels.  It was there that I saw a “blogger” related tab and saw that you could actually propose that they send you stuff to review if they screen your blog, stats, and approve the quality of your site.  My site and traffic stats were screened and I was told that I qualified after a month and that they would send me the products of my choice after another month.  I may have a second post on this set feature a look where I actually use all the brushes.  Read more to have a closer look at my favorite brushes from the set and see one separate brush I also chose for them to send me because it was necessary.… To full post & COMMENTS...

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