Top o’ the morning to ye! Hello from London…well just outside London somewhere in Richmond. We’d decided to spend the night with my aunt’s friend to extend our blissful London encounter by just a wee bit more. Yesterday we were at Covent Garden…a lovely place with a collection of boutiques and things to look at. Of course no one could restrain me from a second visit to UK’s famed Boots pharmacy which is their equivalent of Watsons back home.
CLOCKWISE: Rimmel ApocaLips in “Nude Eclipse” (I already have “Celestial”, “Galaxy”, and “Stellar” & want to find “Apocaliptic”), Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub, Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (MED 3 is a good shade for you MAC NC30 girls), and Lisa Eldridge’s fave Maybelline 14hr Lipsticks in “Stay With Me Coral” and “Beige For Good”
My first rush Boots visit was in Dublin, Ireland where I picked up 3 Rimmel ApocaLips shades and the Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer. Because of the spontaneous sleepover I don’t have those first purchases with me to show but this second time around these are what I got. I’m impressed with all of them. The Maybelline 14-hr lipsticks (which were on “Get 50% off on the 2nd” offer) have that MAC lipstick texture without the dryness and extremely long wear (and that coral shade is PERFECT on me not pasty at all…review soon) and the Sugar Crush Body Scrub smells like limed Coca Cola or those sweetly tart cola bottle jellies. The Lasting Perfection concealer is the transfer resistant dream I hoped it would be and I’ll refrain from saying more for now ‘coz you bet these finds each deserve an individual post with prices included.
Just thought I’d share a few beauty related purchases before I hit London again today London is exactly what I dreamed it would be and more.
Beauty videos, to say the least, are all very engaging but sometimes silence and a wash of beautiful photos over some prose is golden. It’s equally relaxing to have a read through some of the most prolific beauty blogs online. By the way this is part 2 of the Lil’ Black Book of Beauty Pt.1 post I began first containing the channels I watch. I sometimes don’t have the time to download or wait for a full video to stream, so reading these blogs is the quickest way to stay updated. To save even more time I don’t always cart around my 17″ ASUS laptop (which baffles everyone who sees it) to read these. I have most of the blogs booted via RSS on my Android Pulse Reader app (available for Apple, too) which allows me to view all the blogs I choose by row and I can immediately scroll to see if there’s a new post or not because of thumbnails then I can read them via Pulse, too. This way I don’t waste precious time loading up each website /channel only to find some may not have an update. Also once you’ve loaded them you can read the posts offline if you’re on the go, great for traffic on certain days.
I have a Pulse page for blogs, local blogs, and a pulse page for YouTube channels. Many of them are British and reading through a ton of British blogs has actually improved my writing because no one writes English like the English…ahem. I do have a certain bias towards European beauty blogs simply because it’s the dead smack center of carefully developed luxury beauty brands using the freshest and best ingredients and also because they’ve banned over a thousand questionable chemicals for use in cosmetics (the U.S. have reportedly only banned 9?). Okay, enough blabber, click read more to see what are more or less my daily beauty reads.
I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack from Hong Kong!! Did ya miss me? *Crickets* Anyway, I’ll be teasing you a bit with something that’s NOT from Hong Kong for now because this book I got off Ebay for about $US 16 (Php650+) is the first book I’ve ever bought online for myself (and obviously not the last) and it got me super duper excited when I saw it arrived for me in the mail before I got back. It’s only proper that this is the first actual book to be featured on the blog. Two lovely journalists based in New York decided that they had had enough of “ignorance is bliss” when it came to beauty. Siobhan O’ Connor and Alexandra Spunt decided to research and test the most common, within reach, frequently used beauty products on the market and put them under a simply worded microscope for us to really know the truth behind what we put on ourselves…almost everyday. The No More Dirty Looks book gives us a 1000x zoom in on the chemical “DNA” of our most favored beauty products. It’s a pretty paperback that’s about an inch thick and the conversation within (that’s how it feels, like a well-informed friend came over) is engaging as well as super informative. I’ve only skimmed over the first few chapters but I’m already excited to read it all the way to the end.
“You probably bathe daily. Every other day, sometimes? Fair enough; us, too. But every time we decide we want to wash, plump, moisturize, nourish, shine, buff, soften, bronze, and otherwise play around with how we look and feel, we are reaching for a bottle whose contents are largely a mystery. That’s not because we’re all idiots; that’s the way the cosmetics industry has set it up. They will boast about one or two ingredients in their ads –usually the natural ones– while obscuring the bulk of the ingredients in four-point font in a barely contrasting color on the edge of the bottle. And yet ingredients lists are the most transparent thing these companies provide us.” p. 4, No More Dirty Looks.
I know right? They sooooo understand beauty enthusiasts like you and me because they love beauty as well. You needn’t go and give yourself a ban on several beauty products afterwards, that’s everyone’s own personal choice to make but for make-up professionals like me it’s good to be informed. I’m so excited to read the entire book. I learned about the No More Dirty Looks book from an online video conversation I had last September with Soapwalla brand founder, Rachel Winard who likes calling herself a “chef” in a kitchen of organic beauty. She was in Manhattan and I was up late to join in the class conversation. I was issued an online VIP invitation for the fashion week project spun together by PowHow, Colette beauty boutique in Paris, and French VOGUE .
“My name is Rachel and I’m a Brooklyn girl who is the creator and chef of Soapwalla. I started making luxury organic face and body products in my apartment kitchen to alleviate my painful sensitive skin rashes caused by lupus, a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune illness. Soapwalla products are comprised of the highest quality products available, made with organic, vegan, food-grade ingredients, and never harmful or synthetic additives such as petrochemicals, parabens, pthalates, or sodium lauryl sulfate.”
Rachel Winard’s skincare brand, Soapwalla, has reached European shores and is currently being “curated” in Paris by Colette and in the UK as well. I was invited to participate in a complimentary online class by PowHow and I met some indie beauty brand owners who were being streamed live from Manhattan New York. Rachel was one of the people I met, her organic skincare brand, SoapWalla has been recognized as one of the most admirable quality luxury organic brands in the indie beauty market. She recommended that I have a look at the No More Dirty Looks book and I’m so glad I took her advice and made the purchase on Ebay. If you’re in the States you can try Amazon. I haven’t tried Fully Booked locally so I’m not sure if this is available in retail.
I was drawn like lightning just a few moments ago to Michelle Phan’s FB plug on her post about the Golden Ratio of Beauty, not because I was desperate to find out what the Golden Ratio was (we’re deeper than that, right, Marianas Trench) but because for history’s sake and human reasoning I wanted to hear her thoughts on the matter. The “Golden Ratio” she mentions refers to beauty being measured mathematically in reference to Phi, in this reference she posted it is visually shown using a geometric mask patented by Dr. Stephen R. Marquardt in 2001. Dr. Marquardt, a retired surgeon who was also once Chief of Facial Imaging in UCLA, now focuses on research in human attractiveness in California and remains an active member of the Societies of Maxillofacial Surgeons. Here is what Marquardt’s patented mathematical mask looks like applied to a photo of Angelina Jolie’s face.
image source: http://www.everyoung.co.nz/
Michelle Phan blogs according to research as defined by the Marquardt mask:
“In terms of facial beauty, here are the ratios that define “perfect beauty”:
In the corner of my heart I am originally a Michelle “PhanGirl” in spite of everything she isn’t or what people point her out to be, she got me started on beauty even before Lisa Eldridge even came into the picture for me. In my opinion physical beauty, while being a great gift, is secondary to who you really are and how you help shape your world in the fullness of your purpose for the Lord. Check out Michelle’s thoughts on the Golden Ratio here at her blog post. Hold on a minute…whatcha doing with that ruler? LOL…
They’ve arrived! Beauty sample box subscriptions have arrived on Philippine shores and the first to arrive at my blog’s doorstep is the 4-piece offering of SaladBox. I actually received mine about 4-5 days ago, was just really busy over the weekend.
1.) Hot Shop Pour Femme – Happy/FULL SIZE- “Happy is a fragrance of joy, the essence of sunny, happy mornings.”
2.) NaturaCosmetics Gorgeous Argan Lip & Cheek Tint- “This dual-purpose wax-based stick gives an instant, lasting burst of color to your cheeks and lips. Perfect for girls on the go.”
3.) Camaru Naturals Bamboo Charcoal Clarifying Soap/FULL SIZE – “Known to effectively clear out skin impurities, this popular VEGAN bamboo charcoal soap also whitens and moisturizes skin.”
4.) BC Fragrance Pillow Mist in Relaxing Mint - “Infuse your pillow with this relaxing mint scent and feel refreshed as you head off to dreamland.”
Now many of you might be expecting these new local subscription boxes to hold lots of famous brands, they may not have a lot at first but they will eventually and I’m glad that a lot of them, in spite of the lack of popular demand, are partnering with lesser-known local and regional (Asia) brands that are bringing forward lots of high quality products many of which are organic or vegan. Once I’ve tried all these I’ll do a stand-alone review on the product here that impresses me the most.
“For PhP500.00 per month, a subscriber will receive a box filled with four or more beauty and lifestyle product samples. The SaladBox team greatly values the money their subscribers spend so these products will have a value of more than PhP700.00. SaladBox is currently in partnership with a lot of beauty and lifestyle brands, both local and international, up-and-coming and timeless classics.”
To subscribe go to the SaladBox Website here. Did you know that if you subscribe for a Saladbox and review any of the products you receive and submit your links/reviews to SaladBox you can earn SaladLeaves which are coupons you can use on the SaladBox site? Right now what’s made the strongest first impression on me from this lot that’s arrived is the look of that Bamboo Charcoal Clarifying soap. Bathtime will tell.
*SaladBox provided by brand for initial review