The brand I’m discussing today visually kind of matches the weather we’re having (cool and grey) and its products remind me of one brand that disappeared from retail. It was sad that a high-performance botanical brand like Jurlique, for example, had to leave the local market. I believe in the gentle power of botanical ingredients and back then Jurlique was one of the few skincare brands that didn’t break me out. The Benefit boutique in Greenbelt 5 now stands in its stead. I do understand when people would rather not pay more than Php1000 or even Php500 for a simple tube of facial scrub unless you’ve got temperamental facial terrain on you. The accumulative cost upon daily use is staggering when you commit to a high end cosmetic product. Every now and then however, there are brands that make you think twice in spite of their hefty price tag and which upon first use ultimately become tattooed on your mind. One of these brands for me is yet another luxury botanical brand called Aesop, which I first encountered in Takashimaya Mall along Orchard Road, Singapore with my friend Noelle.
The way Aesop as a brand is visually conceptualized blew me away. Think of a minimalist, no-nonsense, classy and modern apothecary sort, and I think this neutral design scheme also widens their appeal. Both men and women are visually invited to partake of world-class skincare. The brand does a lot of formulations with parsley, rosehip, pomegranate, and rosemary, just to name a few of a whole slew of botanicals they include. I half expected a bloke in a white lab coat to come out with a mortar and pestle and prescription pad. Certain products almost looked medicinal in their bottles…nothing too pink, dainty or flowery on any side of the Aesop “lab” (just the way mom would like it, actually). I nearly walked out only with sample sachets from the salesperson in hand due to the staggering prices (think SGD$40-55 for medium bottles of good facial stuff). I then noticed the Rosehip Seed Lip Cream which was tiny enough (the size of a Terramycin Triple antibiotic tube) to feel barely affordable for me at SGD$21 (Php700). Upon sampling, this turned out to be fan-bloody-tastic even with the tiniest amount. This was recommended via Twitter when I asked my friend, Charlotte.
Rosa Canina Fruit Oil- An excellent source of Oleic, Linoleic and Linolenic acids. Renowned for its skin regenerative properties.
Tocopherol- The active constituent is Vitamin E, which primarily acts as an anti-oxidant.
The cream is an off-white yellowish type and it very QUICKLY absorbs into the lips colorless. It provides hydration WITHOUT shine and is not at all oily or greasy. It has the same hydrating effectiveness as Elizabeth Arden 8-hour Cream but leaves the opposite finish, non-glossy, matte hydration. Some of you would prefer that texture beneath your favorite lipstick. It’s also suitable as a moisturizer around the mouth not just on the lips. I tried it on my mother because I had left my moisturizer in another bag. There is somewhat of an herbal scent and the herbal taste can be a bit distracting at first but it shouldn’t make you gag, at least I don’t think so, and it goes away very quickly once the cream disappears into your lips. Read more to get the full post and a few more opinions on some Aesop samples I tried.
It’s a pretty-in-pink party, no doubt, and the UK’s lovely Lily Cole makes her mark as The Body Shop’s endorser for this cute, young, and fun cosmetic collection. I was given 3 items from the collection to try, the Lip and Cheek Dome in Pinch Me Pink, the Radiance Primer, and the Lily Cole Shimmer Cubes quad (eyeshadow).
I had a great natural light moment when shooting this photo, the sun shone exactly where I needed it to. Consider this a simple introduction to one of The Body Shop’s youngest and most hip makeup collections yet. Read more to get the full post and more photos.
I’m not planning to be a competitive runner, it’s just that I’ve made a promise to myself that my last year in my twenties would be the year I get fit. All the years before that were impossible because of my toxic post production career that would leave me with only a few hours or even just minutes of sleep in one day. Cardio would have “killed” me or given me a heart ailment together with my insane dose of sleep deprivation. When it comes to my fitness goals I don’t want to be ripped as in like muscle-popping hard, just undeniably fit. Martial arts is out of the question or any activity that could sustain trauma to the hands because as a makeup-artist I need to protect them. I’ve made a few small efforts to begin my fitness journey. Unlike others who have admittedly fallen behind on both the weight targets and eating healthy goals my health and fitness needs aren’t that many because I already live clean, eat healthy, and I’m not overweight. My only real problem is I don’t exercise regularly. That changed in May before I left for Singapore when I began the 30-Day Shred workout by Jillian Michaels. I only did it for 2.5 weeks till my mom protested that she was stressed out by the aggressive pace of the program even though it was doable and then said she preferred to walk or run. Then there was a gap in the fitness initiative until I began walking a lot in Singapore and felt my calves burning day in and day out. Then yesterday, unplanned, I did my first 4km run/jog (according to my cousin, Ella) in Laguna with my brother and my cousins. What surprised me was I didn’t walk-run-walk as I thought I would, I actually jogged/ran straight for ’bout 3.5-4km without any trouble, then after 2 uphill climbs I felt the slight labor in my breathing (as my body properly told me my limit) and I decided to walk instead of jog back and began cooling down. I actually realized I wasn’t as UNFIT as I thought, I was thrilled, I could actually do 4km and I wasn’t even that FIT yet. What could that mean?!!
My cousin Ella, the eldest among her siblings, showed us a simple warm-up before we set off then we talked while we ran which I believe made us forget about the distance at one point, it was a light but lively jog. She handed down minor tips after years of running with the best trainers in the country (Coach Rio dela Cruz, Coach Anna). There were small tips like inhaling then exhaling on the 4th count while running “(inhale) 1,2,3,4(exhale)(inhale) 1, 2, 3, 4 (exhale)…” and keeping elbows near your rib cage at a loose right angle and your hands comfortably suspended while swinging and positioned as if you were “holding a potato chip” in each hand. None of these tips on form were expressed to be mandatory, just recommended, but I did as I was advised. Their family is “insanely fit” and not in an overboard way, they love playing, eating, and enjoying their naps, too. I love how Ella and her “bunch” have really embraced the Spirituality and righteousness found in physical fitness and taking care of your body. Not every couple on earth can say they are both tri-athletes, have 5 children (including a 1 year old), and 4 out of those 5 children happen to be tri-athletes as well.
Post run, I walked proudly into my Tito Anthony’s house (popularly known as the head of his tri-athlete family, Team Pangilinan) and said we just did ’bout 4km. He said “Before you know it, Jules, you’ll be telling me ‘I just did my first 10k, Tito’ “, and Tita Maricel told me to ice my legs when I arrived home because of the hills in the terrain of their village, to boost recovery and lessen pain. Coach Dan Brown (not the author of the Da Vinci Code he says) said “As a beginner better to run every 2nd day (not daily) so that you can recover. And you don’t have to run all the way to complete it the first time. Alternate between walking and running first, if you must, then after a few weeks or months just run and time yourself…”. So what was I supposed to do on non-running days like today for example? On the hunt for a new “less aggressive” but still intense workout I could share with my mom I remembered Tita Maricel did pilates. So I researched online and came across this POP Pilates Begginers’ Workout with Cassey Ho.
Cassey, the star of her YouTube Channel “Blogilates”, suffice it to say, comes on “less scary” than Jillian Michaels (as is beginner pilates vs. the shred workout) and she is way more bubbly. In some parts of her videos she can border on being a bit too “sugary” in the way she expresses herself but I totally appreciate her positivism. It’s like having a sweet, first class stewardess teach you pilates, haha (watching her intro I can’t get the life jacket demo outta my mind)! I loved this workout not because it was “easy” (in fact it was not), it was slowly intense, more low impact, and less aerobic. In fact there is still a totally difficult part in the middle of the workout where you lift your legs on your side and do tiny circles. Don’t be fooled, those tiny leg lift circles, they’re MEAN tiny circles, augghh they do big things to your buttocks and you can feel it. My leg dropped several times because of the burn in my “gluts”, I am not kidding. Anyway, I’ve decided that this will be my in-between/substitute workout of choice when I’m not running. I sweat a lot and feel a lot happening to my muscles in this Pilates Beginners Workout.
There was one last semi worn-out box of these Kai Beauty-M brow razors sitting in Japan Home Center, Market Market. I had little interest at first until I pulled one out and realized they were concealed weapons, with plastic blade sheaths. Crazy SHARP. Holy, hair-splitting brow blades, Batman! Plus who wouldn’t be happy that there were 5 pcs. for Php99.00 in one box? These blades are so sharp you can easily shave/carve your name out on the back of a grizzly bear while it’s asleep and it wouldn’t feel a thing. I personally like how sharp this tool is, I can craft a brow shape quicker and more precisely as a result.
I’ve got some of the lighter, plastic Watsons ones lying around somewhere in my room, they’re like Php85 for 3 pcs in a pack, but in my experience with those it takes several heavier-handed scrapes to clear out brow hair for a proper arch. When it comes to my brows and the brows of models I do makeup for I really haven’t got all day. I prefer to shave rather than pluck or wax my brows because my brow hairs are fine and not that long but they scatter beneath my arch. I try to avoid any strain and pulling on the skin around my eyes.
When using this blade it’s best to disinfect the blade first with cotton and alcohol and prep the brow area with alcohol as well. Scrape in small, measured strokes, and stare straight into the mirror, don’t look up when using this, never do one long stroke. The sharpness of the blade might cause some skin soreness or redness after shaving so apply a light moisturizing cream or aloe after shaving to soothe the area. Do not use this tool on someone else unless a professional has personally shown you the proper method. Definitely sheath the blade always after and KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN. There’s also a Php66 peso box of these Kai ones at Japan Home Center but the ones inside that one don’t come with plastic sheaths for proper storage (blade guards). If you want to keep these blades rust-free long enough and avoid it cutting yourself and other items stored with it better to get the sheathed ones in a box for Php99. My makeup artist friend, Sari Campos, has a similar metal scraper (complete with the flower) in a blue shade by Pure Beauty, but she said she only bought a single one. She thinks I may have gotten more value for money with 5 in a box.