I recently remembered this because “YouTuber” Emily Noel of Beauty Broadcast recently raved about all the different sorts of blush done by The Balm. I agree with her totally about the textures of the pressed powder products by The Balm (available at Beauty Bar) even their eyeshadows totally rock, they’re velvety but not too crumbly. I always held back on buying the world famous NARS Orgasm blush simply because of the name, call me a frumpy female if you like, it’s not that I hate it, but I’m sort of sensitive about names, even with cosmetics… because whatever you put on yourself, you irrevocably identify with whether you admit to or not, you don’t have to agree with me but that’s what I strongly believe. I actually own a Rock &Republic blush in the shade Foreplay but I feel different now bout stuff I buy. What made NARS Orgasm such a success what how flattering it was on different ethnicities and it wasn’t overtly pink. I’ll probably end up buying NARS Orgasm when I get married LOL but for now I’ve got a great dupe, not spot on, less intense for about half the price, and it’s locally available :) Meet Hot Mama!
What made NARS Orgasm such a sellout blush was the way it flattered so many skintones. This Hot Mama blush isn’t an exact dead ringer for Orgasm but it has the same flattering peachy pink shade and an earthy kick with a gold sheen that isn’t annoying. The NARS Orgasm blush is deeper and a little more pink but I don’t mind because Hot Mama flatters me pretty well.
I thought I had totally lost my love for blushes with shimmer until I met Trace Gold by MAC and now this Hot Mama blush by The Balm. Both my parents complimented me when I first applied it and said it was sooo nice…which is probably a biased opinion full of love lol, but they’re pretty honest, my Dad doesn’t usually say anything about makeup I put on. This costs Php776.00 from Beauty Bar, I got mine at the Rockwell boutique.
Like a cool cobra in the shadows I was waiting for just the right moment to strike and restock on my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. That moment came around when a StrawberryNET “We Miss You” Discount email alert came in (it comes when you’ve taken awhile to purchase again with them), promising an additional 8% on top of an exising 5% loyalty discount I already have plus a 1% discount if I chose 2 products. So given that 14% discount plus the lowered Php value of the US$ in the past weeks (41 to 1) I knew today was the day! I also remembered that this is the last day (you’ve got time) to avail of a special Korres gift with purchase. In my life I’ve consumed 2 full tubes of LM Tinted Moisturizer, it’s been the go-to item I throw in my bag for outings where I don’t want people visually nitpicking at what I have on. It evens out my complexion, knocks out the need to “prep”, I can put it on with hands, and it makes me look fresh without shouting “makeup”. I ran out of it at the beginning of this year and this time I chose the oil-free formula because reportedly, Kate, aka the Duchess of Cambridge, was spotted buying a tube of it shortly before the Royal Wedding Day (in which she did her own makeup).
I also had been planning to put money down for a very long time on my first ever NARS blush via StrawberryNET HK. I actually wanted NARS Madly, but it was gone when I checked this time and I thought MAC’s Trace Gold which I own is already quite like that so it was fine that I couldn’t have that. So I decided on NARS Zen which is the MAC Harmony of the NARS world or quite like NARS Laguna without the golden shimmer. Don’t get me wrong I don’t have anything against pink or peach I’m just on a neutral kick right now. So all in all this was a strategic maneuver to avoid the overhead markup of local cosmetic counters. Because the items I chose were not ON-sale items on StrawberryNET they still had on-hand markup, like LM Tinted Moisturizer is US$42 (Php1720) on the LM website but without discounts on Strawberry NET it’s $54 and the NARS blush on the NARS site is US$28 but here it was listed for $32. Directly from the brand sites both items in total would cost $70 but that’s not inclusive of the steep shipping fees. Wait, I know what you’re thinking “then WTH did you save if StrawberryNET had markup?”, I’m almost there…LOL, before you think I’m a twit let me finish. So basically what my 14% discount did was knock out the StrawberryNET on-hand markup and bring the $86 StrawberryNET total of both items down to a grand total of $74. It’s as if I was able to buy both items directly from BOTH brand websites without any shipping fees or overhead mark-up PLUS I got a KORRES compact powder of $44 value for free. For the Korres compact I deliberately picked a darker shade because I was running out of pressed powder for dark skin in my professional kit. So to wrap up, I paid under Php3100 for both an LM Tinted Moisturizer and a NARS blush plus I got a Korres gift with purchase! What I absolutely love about StrawberryNET is discounts can be compounded, so these discounts apply even on top of already discounted Christmas specials available right now on the site. It just turns out what I wanted weren’t on sale in the end. Today’s the last day for the gift with purchase offer and if you’re a StrawberryNET shopper you may have overlooked the “We Miss You” discount if you haven’t shopped for awhile, so better check your inboxes!
So my first MAC blush isn’t your garden variety flush sort of blush. It’s neither pink nor peach. In fact, it’s a 90s earthy color and *oh-my-gasp* it’s shimmery (signboards go up “Julia, you bought a bronzer”). I’m still arguing in my head as to whether MAC Sheertone Shimmer Trace Gold is a blush, bronzer, highlighter or all these lovely things rolled into one simple, subtle, but swoon-worthy product. I love that even if this is dubbed a Sheertone Shimmer it doesn’t mean having glitter vomit on your face.
I’ll admit Trace Gold’s loveliness was quite hard to photograph on myself during the day, but I promise you in person it is noticeable and does make a difference. It defines cheekbones or cheeks wherever you apply it and the sheen gives the illusion of highlight AND contour in just one product and that hint of color when properly placed is GORJ. Read more to get the full post and see me wearing my new MAC Trace Gold blush!
Do any of you remember the local TV show Batibot? If you were born in the late 70s to mid-80s you probably do. Aside from watching Sesame Street I also watched Batibot whenever I caught it on TV. Yes, at the time I lived in Dasmariñas in a big house with my Lola and I was a teeny-weeny bit spoiled as an only kid, but shows like Batibot in addition to Betamax tapes of Sesame Street and Saturday Morning Cartoons from the U.S. kept me company and expanded my world with slice-of-life narratives. I wish more shows like this still existed today. One of those narratives was a video segment called “Bangkang Papel” which in Filipino means “paper boat”. A lot of children in the Philippines don’t have expensive toys to play with so they often make their own and folded paper boats were (before mobile phone games) just as popular here as paper planes are in the US. Today’s beauty post is a bit different in light of what’s happened because of the rain. The flooding here in the Philippines has caused a lot of people to lose their homes and relatives. Some have been relocated temporarily to cramped relief centers. I’ve decided to keep it simple today and just share a few current favorites brought to you in a “bangkang papel”. Two of these I’ve fully reviewed, the rest I’ve only just mentioned.
1. K-Palette 1-Day Tattoo Eyeliner - I’ll keep all these mentions short and simple because I don’t have it in me 100% to fully expound on cosmetics today because of the storm calamity. This is a great, easy-to-use liquid eyeliner that’ll help you get a nice sharp cat’s eye. K-Palette products are available in Beauty Bar. (upcoming full review)
2. K-Palette Kuma Concealer - - This concealer performs similarly to the peach color correctors of MAC and Bobbi Brown, it instantly lifts and corrects dark circles, comes in 3 shades with skin benefits, and is a smooth but concentrated consistency like Michelle Phan’s favorite Amazing Concealer. (upcoming full review.)
4. Clinique Shimmer Stripes Powder blush in 01 Peony (free travel sample size, a gift) -This was simply given to me by my Ninang, it’s a free sample size of Clinique Shimmer Stripes Powder blush. These aren’t glittery or even “shimmery” in a pixie dust way don’t worry, they’re a pearl-to-satin finish and the Peony shade gives cheeks that mild hint of rosy.
Right now many districts and provinces in Luzon are in a state of calamity due to the heavy rains these last few days. I may or may not be as active on the blog this week and some personal posts might go up. Let’s offer up prayers of thanksgiving for ourselves who are healthy, clean, and dry and prayers of compassion and mercy for people who have lost their loved ones, homes, hope, and joy. God, please be merciful and show us what more we can do to help people in need not just at this time but from now on everyday that we have life in us. Amen. To give us hope that majority of the Philippines can find joy again in simple things here is that video of Bangkang Papel from Batibot that has been on my mind for the past few days amidst all the chaotic reports from the news. Somewhere, somehow, families and children will find peace and joy again which is what this video brings home very well. Once upon a time, rain wasn’t always such a burden. This is a reminder of a time when we once actually even looked forward to the rain which could bring joy when it wouldn’t overwhelm us.
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.