Bless My Bag

beauty bagged by a cheeky Filipina

How I Store My Beauty Blog Stash (Not My Dressing Table)

Sometimes, it can be a bit overwhelming (but more exciting) as time passes and products for review slowly start piling up.  Because I don’t have a big room I need to have a system.  This is a simple storage method for the blog that works for me, but please note this is separate from my own personal dressing table and also from the amount of products I have in my professional makeup cruise ship kit.  I practically never lose anything that has been sent to me for a review with this storage method.  Products are not tucked away in drawers so I don’t forget about them, because for me “out of sight…out of mind” and beauty products expire if you know what I mean.  I took the liberty late last year of purchasing around 8 or 10 of these deep storage baskets with handles from Japan Home Center’s 88/99 Peso Store…”arte” bonus, you can pull the baskets out without ruining your newly painted nails.


The 88/99 peso baskets come in varied widths but look similar enough so they look good together and do the job perfectly.  As you can see they’re not unsightly to look at firing-squad style, these don’t make your shelf look like a stockroom and don’t make it look overtly fixed/organized like a Pleasantville shop display window either.  Have patience with the weird in me, I don’t want to pretentiously put these products on display at home like they’re in a boutique, because they’re not…I don’t have time, they’re mine, they’re here at home, and home is chill…right?  The most important basket sits patiently on the far right, containing the most current, yet-to-be reviewed stock on hand.   Sprawled on top you have random things that wont fit for whatever reason but just need to be there, too. (Obsessive Compulsive readers claw at the screen…o…easy lang, your nails, hala!).  At the bottom in the 2 baskets (which are not full) are odd old things that I need to shop from my stash again one day.  This is what the whole bookshelf and consequently the room (the brighter side) looks like.

For what it’s worth, the location is heavily guarded by 9 lives.  She’s ever ready.

By the way that top of a mango tree you see outside my window is the tree my brother planted in the garden when he was about 9 years old.  He’s 16 now and look at how that tree has grown (I’m on the 2nd floor)!  I’d like to end this post with something more personal.  The most immediate way in which I keep my stash trimmed down to a manageable amount is with repeat generosity.  When brands are generous I do my part in reviewing but also share the extra products with friends and family, and I love when I’m able to do it.  What I’m blessed with often contains too much for just one person to enjoy.  It ends up becoming direct marketing in its most genuine form but more importantly it makes the people I know unexpectedly happy.



Venus & Mars Smooch Lip Detox Lip Butter Balm – Simple but Soothing

Nothing too fancy here by Venus & Mars Naturals, just smooth, nourishing, lip-loving  ingredients and a pop of peppermint to cool those lips and keep them happy.  What you’ve got is minimal hype but maximum lip comfort from a local product!  It actually gives my lips that Liz Arden 8hr cream effect but it feels like my lips can breathe more.  I’m kind of late on the Venus & Mars bandwagon but I’m glad I got on.  I’m telling you, if you’re into minty balms it beats ChapStick with a TKO.  As soon as you slide it on you’re like “Wow…”

INGREDIENTS: Emu Oil, Avocado Butter, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Castor Oil, Jojoba Wax, Peppermint Essential Oils, Beeswax, Vitamin E, and Titanium Dioxide (sorry bout the grainy photo, phone pic)

I know right, it looks plain but it’s a rich formulation and like almost every great oil we know that’s usually in great lip stuff is in it.  However for you vegans out there you may be a little iffy considering this contains Emu Oil and right now from what I’ve researched there’s no guarantee that this is cruelty-free but they do certify the quality of the processed Emu Oil with the AEA Seal meaning its high-grade quality is approved and affiliated with the America Emu Association.  I do personally wish that it was cruelty-free, it would’ve been a plus but I am relieved that it’s not petroleum-based.  I like avocado butter and almost any skincare product with avocado rates high in my book.  That cool blast of peppermint over the lip surface just adds to the whole happy lip experience.  I’m not going to begin to excessively sing praises about this lip balm but applying it did get my undivided attention after my first impression of it.  It’s a very comforting product to put on and I find myself reapplying it more often than I thought I would.  This costs Php205 pesos and you can inquire about it here at their Multiply site or on Venus & Mars’ Facebook page.


Dove Style+Care Strength & Shine Extra Hold Hairspray – Strong Hold and Soft Shine

I know this is kind of strange now that my hair’s gone androgynous but I’ve never ever bought hairspray to particularly use on myself…until now because I have thick, wavy hair.  Now that it’s been cut short there’s a lot of lift at the roots which is great for girls with long hair but not for someone with a pixie-do.  I’m not for the Peter Pan spunky, windswept look on myself, I like my “do” looking very French and Mia Farrow-ish, sleek and set in place.  When I saw this bottle of Dove Style + Care Hairspray on a shelf flanking hundreds of others at S&R I didn’t particularly understand why I was drawn to it by instinct, but I was, and I’m ever so glad I followed the beauty lioness in me.  One deadly swipe and it went down…into my grocery cart.

“Strengthens your hairstyle by providing strong hold while enhancing your hair’s natural luminosity.  Its fast drying formula fights frizz and fly-aways while adding body and volume.  Enjoy extra hold without all the stiffness, for shiny hair with natural movement all day long.”

I agree with  everything…except for the “movement” on my part LOL.  Now, let me explain because of my short hair.  Prior to this I was using and still sometimes use Bench Fix’s Rock & Rule matte hair wax…which is great by the way, for Php35.  In fact I’m on my second pot of that stuff which took me about 1 month to consume. However with that wax product it does take a lot of art directing with the fingers for several minutes, which I don’t mind on days where I’m not rushing, and that isn’t often.  This Dove hairspray costs approximately 10x more than that Bench Fix wax at about Php295-300+, but it literally is more in a different form and smells pretty with a summer berry fragrance I don’t mind at all.  This product cuts my primping time by about half.  With this, I basically step out of the shower, towel dry my hair, brush it down to the shape I want in under 5 minutes.  When the hair is between damp and dry I then use 5-8 spritzes of this all over about 6 inches from my hair, concentrating a bit more over my stubborn cowlick that lifts up from the roots on the left side of my head and on the hair by my ears, then I brush through again before it sets.  What I like about this is it holds the style that I make with the brush very well throughout the day and it isn’t a “crunchy” sort of hairspray that turns your hair into twigs.  You do get just a little of the expected hairspray “stick” stiffness at after it has just set (it has to generate hold somehow), but after an hour or two,  when you press in a little with your hands, pat down and smooth it with your fingers you can gently press the stiffness away and it becomes SOFT and very touchable, but your hair doesn’t lose the shape you sealed in.  It’s no Elnett mind you but it’s bloody amazing in the way it works for my pixie-do, otherwise my hair would be standing fluffy and I’d probably look like a schoolboy.  This also adds healthy radiance to the hair, so just note that it isn’t a super matte sort of hairspraybut in fairness it doesn’t make your hair look slick in a greasy way.  Here’s a photo of me with the lovely, unsinkable Sophie Uy, owner/founder of Charm makeup brushes and the blogger behind

My best friend’s mother actually asked me how I got my hair to be “fixed” that way.  She wasn’t just talking about the hair cut, she liked the soft-gloss texture and I like that she noticed because this helps lift my hair from being just a dull short cut with no definition to something more sophisticated.  You can see where I concentrated the product on the sides of my head because it’s a bit more shiny but overall my hair doesn’t look like it’s being held captive like evil knievel’s helmet or the like and it looks soft.  The second photo after shows me with my godson, Eli, taken at the baptism the other day.  It kind of doesn’t make sense that I’m showing you these photos, I don’t speak for girls with long hair, but the only thing I can confirm for you Rapunzels out there is it gives a really nice soft texture if you spray from a distance, the nearer of course the more concentrated the spritz, the stiffer it will be.  I can also test this on Mom when she arrives from her trip abroad and get some feedback from her.  I don’t have the exact price with me right now, but it’s about Php295-Php350 at S&R if I’m not mistaken.  This is a Dove U.S. product so I’m not 100% certain if some local groceries stock this, but if they do you’d probably have to check the imported personal care aisle.

A Newborn BB! – Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion compact

Three words…I love Laneige.  I like practically everything about how this Korean brand is represented, advertised, and I like the subtle prestige of the quality I’ve tested in the boutique at Shangrila.  I’ve just never been brave enough to buy anything ‘coz I didn’t need anything at the time and believe it or not this brand is totally overpriced in Singapore.  I even appreciate the way the makeup on the girls in the ads is on but toned down in a classy way (check their awesome site here, choose English) .  I came home yesterday with this press gift, one of Laneige’s more unique base items, the Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion compact and my experience within a span of 3-4 hours with it was kind of like a Pride and Prejudice romance.  I wasn’t too keen about that dewy finish at first…yes, at first, then time DID tell.  I’ll get to the details in a sec.

New-concept:  Whitening + Sunscreen + Sweat-proof + Soothing + Makeup Effects SPF 50+ PA+++ (Shade 21 Natural Beige)

  • Skin Types : ALL SKIN
  • Size : 15G

I know what you’re thinking, looking at that you’re probably like letting out a “WTH” thought bubble.  Trust me, it’s not as strange as you think and it’s not that dark on the skin, that’s just how it looks in the compact.  That in there is a sponge soaked with a BB cream formula.

“Bright and Clear Whitening Care + Strong Sunscreen Effect
Contains White Plus Renew Complex™, the major ingredient of Laneige White Plus Renew, for bright and clear skin. Moreover, its SPF 50+ PA+++ formula blocks UV rays even under strong sunlight.  High molecules strong against sweat and sebum form a network to create an elastic barrier on the surface of makeup to hold makeup and UV screen on for a long time. Also, highly elastic cushion powder holds up the makeup barrier that can easily be collapsed by sweat and sebum for long-lasting makeup even with one layer.

I was supposed to show my finger afterwards but I couldn’t get a decent photo after this shot with one hand, sorry LOL.  Basically I had liquid base product on my fingertip as if I had dipped it into a bottle.  Read more to see how the product looks applied on my face.


Meet Estee Lauder’s Global Artist Blair Patterson – Reserve an Exclusive Gift Thru Me!

It’s delightful that in today’s modern age we are able to witness some of the world’s best makeup artists demonstrate their techniques online, especially via YouTube or blogazine sites.  It’s still even more special however to witness them weave their magic IN THE FLESH!  Tomorrow afternoon at Edsa Shangrila Hotel you can watch Estee Lauder’s Global Makeup Artist, Blair Patterson, demonstrate his expertise right before your very eyes.

Meet Blair Patterson tomorrow, Saturday, October 13, 2012, 430pm at the Lubang Function Room, Edsa Shangrila HotelTo avail of the MakeUp Workshop purchase P3,000.00 worth of GCs redeemable for Estee Lauder products in Rustan’s Makati and Rustan’s Shangri-la and mention that you are purchasing to join the workshop tomorrow.

To avail of the exclusive gift at the workshop through partner bloggers like myself here’s how:  If you reserve through me, meaning saying you’re interested in the workshop through me and I’ll tell them so they make a list, you still have to pay the GC workshop fee in advance like everyone else at  Estee Lauder Makati or Shangrila counters (which kinda serves as tuition and materials) BUT you’ll be on the list I pass onto them and will get an exclusive bonus gift during the workshop.  So those who are interested in this lovely meet and greet + makeup demonstration plus want a bonus gift, let me know!  Email me with the email Subject: “PURE COLOR PURE EXPERTISE Workshop Bonus” and include your full name, email, and mobile phone details at  Don’t forget to stay updated with events and promotions follow Estee Lauder PH on FB.  Hope to see you tomorrow!

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