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BLOG MOVE

March 11, 2014

moved

Hi!

Thanks for dropping by.  I just moved to a new domain recently, so head on over there to check out my new posts!

http://itserikaloca.com

Cheers!

xx

Erika

Christmas 2013 Haul

January 17, 2014

I’ve been putting off writing this post and before I knew it, we’re already halfway through with January.  Ah, January, why are you so hectic?

Anyway, this post is going to be a collective haul about the gifts I received last Christmas along with a couple of things that I bought for myself. I know it’s super late, but better than never, right? I usually include mini reviews or impressions on haul posts but in this case, I’ll refrain from doing that because this post will be way too long if I do.

So, here’s a sneak peek of all the good stuff!

Let’s dive right into the most exciting part!

Palettes and Gift sets!

Top to bottom: Bite Holiday 2013 Lip kit, Lorac Pro Palette, Laura Mercier Holiday 2013 Kohl Pencil set, Tarte Off The Cuff Palette, Smashbox Masterclass 2 palette

These are all gifts from my cousins (yeah I have the best cousins ever!) and I couldn’t wait to play with these babies! Let me give you a closer look at each of them.

Bite Holiday 2013 Lip kit (USD 25)

This set contain 4 travel sized Bite lip crayons.  One full sized lip crayon from Bite is roughly 25 USD as well, so this kit is great if you just want to try a couple of shades and you don’t want to shell out 100 bucks for 4 lip pencils.

I think it’s pretty expensive but Bite only uses food grade ingredients for their lip products.  So that’s a plus to those who are into all-natural beauty products.  The formula is really pigmented and very hydrating . :)

Lorac Pro Palette (USD 42.00) 

No flash

With flash

I’ve wanted this palette in FOREVER and I just couldn’t make up my mind if I should get it or not.  Thank you ate Mae for putting me out of misery and giving me this for Christmas. Haha!

Laura Mercier Mini Kohl Pencil Set 

This was a gift from someone at work. The set comes with 8 travel sized kohl pencils in varying shades. Kohl pencils are usually used as base for smokey eye makeup.

I’m not a fan of smokey eye looks because I always botch it… and I find that it makes my eyes look smaller when I do get it right.  However, these pencils make creating smokey eyes a total breeze and the look is starting to grow on me.  It doesn’t hurt that I have 8 different colors to play with too. :p

Tarte Off The Cuff Palette (USD 47.00)

Now this is a palette I knew I had to have the moment I saw Emily Noel review it.  So when my cousin made me pick out what I’d like from the Sephora website, I picked this one right away.  I love experimenting with different blush shades, and having four in one palette is really nice.  If that isn’t good enough, the palette also includes a bronzer.  I’m definitely taking this with me on my next trip abroad.

Smashbox Masterclass 2 palette (no flash and with film cover)

Smashbox Masterclass 2 palette (59 USD) (with flash and no cover) 

I was heartbroken when I wasn’t able to get the first Masterclass palette.  So when I saw this in the Sephora site, I just knew I had to get it.  This is more compact than the first palette and it doesn’t have any lip product but I still like it.  I hesitated to get this because of the mix reviews, but I just like it so much I had to risk it.  Good thing my palette wasn’t damaged, nor did I have any problems with the pigmentation of the eyeshadows.  I just seriously adore this thing!

Hodgepodge of gifts and things I bought

Ulta and Maybelline Mascara Haul

Ulta.com was having a sale right about the time my cousins asked me to pick out what I like from Sephora so I asked them to order a bunch of stuff for me as well.

Everything in this photo are from Ulta, except for the Maybelline mascaras.  I got them here in Manila when they were having a holiday sale.

Bifesta Cleansing Lotion (P420.00) 

My current favorite makeup remover! This is a repurchase because I’m almost done with my first bottle.  I have to tell you, this is even better than Bioderma, and I freaking love this.  I got this at 10% off from Watsons.  I use the Moist variant because I have dry skin.

Maybelline Mascara – The Rocket, The Falsies, The Rocket and Hyper Curl 

I’ve tried A LOT of mascaras and nothing holds the curl of my lashes as well as Maybelline mascaras do.  They were having a 30% off sale on mascaras last December and so I hoarded.  Nothing new there. lol

Maybelline Age Rewind Concealers and Loreal Carbon Black Liquid Eyeliners

Buy 1 get 50% off on the other item means I bought two of each variant that I want. Ahhh, Ulta.  It’s a good thing I don’t live in the states. haha! Anyhoo, I finally bought the Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer in Brightener and Neutralizer.  I haven’t tried this yet but I’ve seen nothing but rave reviews about it, so I’m excited to use these!

As for the eyeliner, it’s really good!  I think I’m breaking up with my K-palette eyeliner for a while. :P

Essence Stay All Day Cream Eyeshadow in Coppy Right

I just felt like trying this cream eyeshadow because I’ve been hearing a lot about it.  Let’s just say that I still prefer powder eyeshadows.

Rimmel Scandal eyes crayon and eyeliners

These eyeliners and smudge crayons are awesome! I can’t find any sellers here so I kind of hoarded again because they were on sale at Ulta.   I swatched the smudge crayons and eyeliners at the back of my hand and rubbed them real hard, but they didn’t budge.

Great value for drugstore products. :)

These are gifts from my good friend Abi

Artdeco Lip Stylo with SPF 30 

I haven’t used this yet, and I haven’t figured out if it’s a primer or a lip balm, but Abi said she thinks I’ll need this for when I’m wakeboarding because it has a really high SPF.  Wear testing this tomorrow! :)

Clockwise: Formula X for Sephora in Chaotic, Revlon Parfumerie in Wintermint, Maybelline Lumineyes quad, Happy Skin Shut Up and Kiss Me Lippie in My First Time, Mac Riri Woo, The Balm Mary Lou Manizer 

The nail polish and MAC lipstick are from my cousin, Ate Mae, who is a total enabler when it comes to beauty products and she sends me nail polish and lipsticks whenever she can.

The Happy Skin lippie and Maybelline quad is from Nikki of askmewhats.com :)  –> Thank you again Nikki! I really like these!

The Balm Mary Lou Manizer: This one is from my boss.  I really like this highlighter, and now that I have it, I have to wonder why I even hesitated about purchasing this.  It’s seriously amazeballs.

Za Cosmetics Perfect Solution Set (P999.00) 

This was something ate Mae gave to me days before she went back to LA.  We were browsing in the Beauty section of SM Dept. store when I saw that these were bundled together and they were almost 50% off.   I wanted it so bad, but I was telling myself I should stick to my January mini goal (no beauty product shopping) when she decided to just buy it for me anyway. lol

She saved me from failing that goal.  That or she got annoyed at me for hovering around the Za counter. haha!

Totally random gifts! This aromatherapy candle is from my officemate.

Last but not the least is this water bottle from Starbucks.

Now you might be thinking, “huh? Water bottle?” right now, so let me tell how much I reeeally want this.

I used to have a white water bottle that is identical to this one.   Then I accidentally left it in the FX when I commuted to school.  If that wasn’t bad enough, this wasn’t available here at that time.  It was 2010, and I got it from a recent trip to Osaka.  I’ve had it for only a week and then I lost it.  So yeah, I never really recovered from that heartbreaking incident, until someone got me this.

The best part? It’s PURPLE! I LOVE PURPLEEEEEEEE!!! <3

Okay enough.  You might think I suddenly turned into a retarded person. haha!

You pop the latch (lavender colored) then press the button so the lid will pop open to reveal this:

Tadaaaa!

Now you can probably tell how much I love this.

So that was most of the stuff I got for Christmas!  It’s funny how almost everyone got me makeup, and I am just so excited to experiment with my new things.  I have a lot of posts lined up and I just can’t decide what to write first.  I’m thinking maybe a 2013 favorites post or Travel essentials since I’m going on a trip soon. What do you think?

Let me know in the comments section!

xx

Erika

P.S.  The Cream Factory just launched the Scrub-in-a-Tub (best body scrubs I’ve ever tried!) and they’re giving away 10 tubs on their page!  Visit them here for more details! :)

Christmas Wishlist

December 13, 2013

Hey everyone!

Christmas is only 2 weeks away and I am sort of panicking because I haven’t bought ANY gifts yet.  I haven’t even picked gift wrappers because I can totally imagine how jam-packed malls are right now.   To make things worse, I can’t decide what things to buy for whom.

Isn’t Christmas supposed to be fun and relaxing?  Why do we make things so hard for ourselves anyway?

I’m ranting.  I’m not supposed to be ranting.  I’m supposed to make things easier for people who are thinking of giving me something for Christmas. (lol) So whoever you may be, if you’re reading this, please make your own wish list.  This will give your gift givers an idea of what to get you for the holidays. :)

Oh! If you’re here to see what I want for Christmas, take it easy, no pressure, okay? haha!

BEAUTY ITEMS: 

Okay, this is a no brainer.  If you know me, you’d know how crazy I am about makeup.  However, I feel like my relatives abroad already got most of this area covered so I only have 2 items that I just can’t strike off. 

marylou_productshot

1. The Balm Mary Lou Manizer 

This is a gorgeous highlighter, and I’ve wanted it for so long, yet for some reason I always pass it off when I pass by Beauty Bar.  Weird, because I really like this.

kiehls cindyhorton.co.za

2. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate 

This is my Holy Grail serum.  I use this whenever my skin goes nuts on me.  It is a bit pricey for a tiny bottle but this is really awesome and I’d love you from the moon and back if you give me this for Christmas.  (ahem)  haha!

FASHION: 

Now this section is really expensive so I just want to reiterate that this is a WISHLIST.  :p 

Michael Kors

Michael Kors  Chrono Watch  

I’ve always been into big watches, and so it follows that I’d want one of these Michael Kors watches.  I feel like I’m the last person to jump on  the MK bandwagon, but hey, better late than never. :)

bachelorettelifestyledotwordpresscom

3.1 Philip Lim Pashli 

I can’t remember if this was part of my wishlist last year.  In any case I still want it, either in this or the textured leather.  Be it black or the equally chic Aubergine one below.

coralsandcognacs

How can you NOT want this gorgeous thing? 

chanel

Vintage Chanel Maxi Flap Bag 

Pricier and pricier.  This is the bag of my dreams.  Emphasis on vintage because I prefer the old version with the huge Double C’s.  The new flap bags have small C’s and somehow they just don’t look as nice to me.

RANDOM STUFF: 

cinnamon candles

Cinnamon Candles 

I’d love anything vanilla or cinnamon-y. Burning these candles on my room are such a treat, but these are just so hard to find in Manila.  If you happen to find any in warm scents like Vanilla, caramel, cinnamon and the like, please please please get me one for Christmas.  Or drop me a line so I’d know where to get them. :p

homestoriesatozdotcom

Because I am seriously considering making my own like these.  They look nice but it also looks like a big waxy mess in the making.  Hmm.

ipad keyboard wireddotcom

Wireless iPad keyboard 

This one is already covered but I don’t have it yet, so… It’s here. Lol


desktop-coffee-maker

Coffee Maker

I’m a dumdum about coffee makers but I do love coffee so I would be one happy camper if  I get one of these for Christmas. <3  Please don’t forget to include a handbook on how to operate it. :P

system_1_10_1_1

Hyperlite System Bindings 

system boots

Hyperlite System Boots

I’m still a wakeboarding newbie but I am seriously hooked! I already bought a board and bindings but it never hurts to have another set.  Especially bindings that are as nice as these.    And yes, I know the bindings are for guys but I just can’t stomach too much pink on anything and the one made for women are in neon pink. Ick.  I’ll stick to black and white and minimal pink for the boots, thank you very much. ;p

I won’t mind getting impact vests or Protec helmet either. LOL!

Yeah, I have it bad for wakeboarding.

—-

So that’s everything in my wishlist!

What are you wishing for this Christmas?

xx

Erika

New In: Bath Creams and Saforelle

December 12, 2013

Hi everyone!

Today I’m going to share my thoughts on The Cream Factory Bath creams and Saforelle.

I received these goodies from The Cream Factory and Saforelle about a week ago and I must admit that the moment I got home, I started poking around the bath creams!

Oh my gosh, you guys, the bath creams smells so amazing!

The Cream Factory Bath Creams in Cinnamon and Almond

I’ve been using these everyday since I got them and I am so in love with these!  The formula is really thick and creamy, and when I say thick, I really mean that.   The first time I used the almond one, I squeezed the bottle a bit to dispense the cream, but when I loosened my grip on the bottle, it sucked the product right back into the bottle.  LIKE ALL OF IT.  Not even a trace of it was left on my hand.  I felt like someone hit the real life rewind button with the way it went right back into the bottle. -_- haha!

Okay I’m flying away from the topic.

When you see that a bath gel or cream has a thick consistency, you would it expect a lot of lather from it.   So to test it out, I squeezed a dollop of bath cream on my loofah and worked it to a lather.  I need to reiterate, these things smells so good and they really lather and bubble like nobody’s business.

I use this with a loofah or those exfoliating hand shaped bath foams because it really sloughs off the dead skin cells.   My skin feels so smooth after a bath and I don’t even have to worry about over exfoliating because the bath cream is rich enough to keep my skin hydrated.   I’m currently using the Cinnamon variant and it smells so rich, warm and spicy that I just want to curl up in bed and go back to sleep after I shower. :))  It is so relaxing!

The Almond, on the other hand has a lighter and refreshing scent.  It still smells delicious though.

These Bath creams really are desserts for the skin.   If you’re particular about what goes into your bath products, then these are perfect for you!  The Cream Factory products are free from parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, petrochemicals and mineral oils.

These are a bit pricier than regular bath creams, but these are so good and worth every penny.

 I heard that Because Inc. is going to bring in The Cream Factory body scrubs too and I can’t wait to try them!

I’m getting the giant bottle of the Cinnamon bath cream the first chance I get. OOPS! haha! 

The Cream Factory Bath creams are available in-stores at Beauty Bar, Select Rustan’s Fresh outlets, Snoe stores, Landmark, Robinsons Dept. Stores and select SM Super and Hypermarkets.  

The small bottles 221 mL each, are sold in boxes of 3 for 799.00 while the big 768mL bottle is 699.00 each.  

The Cream Factory  bath creams are available online at the Pormada, Glamourbox and BDJ websites.

Check out their Facebook page for more information. 

Saforelle Body and Intimate Hygiene Wash

I know it’s a little awkward talking about intimate wash, but  I am making an exception because this product is awesome!  Saforelle is not just a feminine wash because you can also use it as a body hygiene wash.

 Saforelle is made with Burdock root extract, which is known for soothing skin inflammations.  This product is also soap and paraben-free so rest assured, it won’t cause skin irritations even for those of you who have sensitive skin.

  I’ve been using this daily and I can say with conviction that it works so well!   I even know someone who swears she uses Saforelle as her facial wash and that it really cleared her skin up.  Now there’s a thought…. I’m curious if it will work well as a facial wash for me.  HAHA!  I’ll let you know in case it does work well for the face….  IF I work up the courage to try it. lol!

Priced at 99.75 for the 60mL bottle  and 159.75 for a 100mL bottle, this is more expensive than your average feminine wash, but you have to consider that you only need a tiny amount every time and a bottle goes a really long way.

My verdict?  It works so much better than any other intimate wash I’ve tried, so I’m definitely going to keep on using Saforelle.

Saforelle is available at Landmark Supermarket and Dept. Store, Robinsons Supermarket and Dept. Stores.

Saforelle products are also available online at the Glamourbox and BDJ website.

Visit their Facebook page here for more information. :) 

xx

Erika

P.S.  This is not a sponsored post and this review is my honest opinion on these products. :)

November Beauty Favorites

December 11, 2013

Hi everyone!  I’m so glad to finally be back to beauty blogging.  Well, even blogging in general.   I haven’t had the inclination to just sit down and pour out my thoughts on beauty products or anything at all.

Honestly I was too distracted the past few months due to personal stuff that piled up on top of the other.  Thankfully, I’m almost out of the funk I’ve been in so let’s move on to a happier topic, yes? Makeup and skincare never fail to make me happy.

Today I’m going to share my beauty favorites for the past month.  It’s a hodgepodge of beauty and skin care stuff that I’ve been using a whole lot lately. :)

Here they are:

Sorry I forgot to include the lipsticks in this photo! (oops!)

Bifesta Cleansing Lotion in Moist, Caudalie Beauty Elixir, MAC Lightful Marine Bright Moisturizer, Jack Black Lip Balm in Mango Mandarin and Happy Skin Cosmetics Eye Need A Miracle Concealer

1. Bifesta Cleansing Lotion – I love this stuff! It’s an affordable and much more effective version of Bioderma.   I use this to remove my makeup every night!  It’s a makeup remover, toner and cleanser all in one product so I don’t even have to wash my face afterwards! :)  I still use a toner though, just to make sure that I’m getting all the gunk out of my face.

Bifesta is available in Watsons and leading dept. stores for P410.00 

2. Caudalie Beauty Elixir - This stuff is so expensive and hard to find here in Manila, but I just la-la-love it to bits! I use this every morning before I moisturize and it’s a really good pick me upper.  Oh wait.  That makes it a necessity because I always feel lazy in the morning.

It has a fresh herbal scent and a minty cooling feel that makes my face tingle!  Oh, did I mention that this product is all natural and organic?

Caudalie Beauty Elixir is available at Digital Traincase for P2250.00/100mL bottle 

3. MAC Lightful Marine Bright Formula Moisturizer - This moisturizer is really light and non-sticky but very hydrating! I didn’t notice any brightening in my skin tone though.  I’m not even sure if it’s supposed to be “brightening” but judging by the name, I guess it’s supposed to be.  Nonetheless, I enjoy using this moisturizer.  It has a really light fragrance and almost gel-like formula that is easily absorbed by the skin.

MAC Lightful Marine Bright Formula is available in all MAC Counters for approx. P2000.00 

4. Jack Black Lip Balm - This has to be my all-time favorite lip balm ever! It works like magic!  I use this everyday and it still takes me ages to finish an entire tube.  I have the Mango Mandarin variant which smells amazing!  I kind of want to eat it but it doesn’t taste like anything (yeah I tried! lol) so I stick to using it as a lip balm.  It feels a bit heavy when you first apply it but that’s because it’s really thick and emollient, plus it has SPF 25.  I like to use this when I go swimming or wakeboarding because it’s waterproof and it stays on for hours even when I’m in the water.

Jack Black lipbalm is available at Carefreeshopper.ph for approx. P500.00 

5. Happy Skin Cosmetics Eye Need A Miracle Concealer - Technically this is more of a makeup than skin care but the entire makeup line from Happy Skin is supposed to have skin care properties as well.

Anyhoo, I really adore this concealer!  It keeps my under eye circles concealed, it doesn’t crease or slip around but it also hydrates my under eye area.  It is a miracle alright!  This is one of the best concealers I’ve ever used in my life.  I am looking forward to trying more products from this line soon.

Happy Skin Eye Need A Miracle Concealer is available in Beauty Bar and Plains and Prints stores for P699.00 

Max Factor Xperience Foundation in Dark Gypsum, Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation in Beige Ivory, Ben Nye Banana  Luxury Powder, NYX Powder Blush in Taupe, Bobbi Brown Lip and Cheek Pot Rouge in Powder Pink, Elf Baked Blush in Passion Pink

1. Max Factor Xperience Foundation – I don’t usually use this foundation because it’s my “tanned” foundation.  I like to use it during the summer when I’m darker than usual.  The formula is really light and hydrating so it blends into the skin well.  I got tanner just over a month ago when I started wakeboarding so I mix this with my BB cream or foundation so it won’t be too light.

Max Factor Xperience Foundation is available in Watsons and Dept. stores for approx. P800.00 

2. Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation - I confess.  I’ve had this for a while now but I haven’t even plowed through half of it because don’t use foundation a lot.  I really prefer BB creams, but my skin has been a little cray cray lately so I need  something with a heavier coverage just to even out my skin tone.  The formula of this foundation is thick and creamy but it doesn’t dry out my skin, which is why I really like it.  It has a luminous finish as well, which racks up points in my book because I prefer a dewy finish for my makeup base.

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation is available at Rustans for approx. P2500.00 each

3. Ben Nye Banana Luxury Powder - Do I really need to rave about this loose powder?  I’m pretty sure you’ve all heard about this popular product by now.  I was skeptical at first, seeing as it looked a tad too yellow in the bottle.  I use it sparingly so it won’t build up on my face.  I suggest using a sifter for this powder because the bottle is crappy at dispensing powder.  I use a powder brush to dab it on my face ( I use dabbing motions because it won’t displace your concealer or foundation and it also keeps the powder from clinging to dry patches on your face).  Try not to layer this if you have light skin tone or you will look a little too yellow.  Or try the lighter shades like Buff or Cameo.

So far though, I really enjoy using this powder.  It’s very light on the skin and it sets my makeup base well.  I have dry skin so instead of touching up, I use a face mist to reset my makeup.  This powder works so well that I don’t need to retouch all day! (That’s usually a 12-hour work day)  Amaze-balls right?

Ben Nye Banana Powder (3 0z) is available in a lot of online shops for 950 – 1050 pesos.  You can also order from me for P900.00 for the 3.0 oz bottle! Just leave a comment below :) 

4. NYX Powder Blush in Taupe - This is magic!  Once you try a taupe based contour product, you will never go back to using bronzers!  I got the idea of using a taupe blush as a bronzer from a makeup tutorial by the Pixiwoo sisters.  Sam used a discontinued MAC blush to contour and it looked so gorgeous.

The difference between using a taupe powder and bronzer to contour is that bronzers do not look natural because of the warm undertone.  Taupe contour powders on the other hand look just like the shadows on our face when the light hits it.

I bought this on a whim from Digital Traincase in the beauty fair 2 months ago.  This blush/contour powder made me see the magic of contouring.

NYX Powder Blush in Taupe is available at Digital Traincase for p300.00 

5. Bobbi Brown Lip and Cheek Pot Rouge in Powder Pink –  Another product that I’ve had for a while.  I don’t really like pink so I rarely use this either as a blush or a lip product.  I was going through a cream blush phase the past few months and dug this out of my stash.  It’s not as pale as it looks in the pot.  It appears almost mauve-ish when used as a blush.  Since it’s been with me for a while, I figured I should keep on using it anyway. I actually ended up liking it.  I put this on before I apply my makeup base and it just gives a really nice pale pink yet rosy look.   It’s the perfect blush shade for when I’m inclined to wear really dark or bright lipsticks, which I often am.

Available at Bobbi Brown Stores for P1500.00 

6. ELF Baked Blush in Passion Pink – I’ve had this for about 6 months now and I’ve been using it on and off for about 2 months and it still looks new.  This is a warm pink blush that is so shimmery it’s almost frosty.  I look to use this on top of my cream blush because it’s very glow-y.  It’s like a blush and highlighter in one. :)

Available at The Vanity Zone for P200.00 each

MAC Quad in Spice Chocolate (Top L-R Nano Gold, Brash || Bottom L-R  Sweet Chestnut, Spiced Chocolate)

I have been reaching for this quad a lot lately because the colors are just perfect for Fall and the Holiday season.  The Sweet Chestnut shade can be a bit problematic. It can be dry and patchy when you’re blending it so you need to go really light and gradually build the color to the intensity that you’re going for.  Otherwise, all the other colors are easy to work with and have little to no fallout.

This was a gift so I’m not quite sure if the shades are still available or not.  Individual eyeshadows are available at all MAC counters at approx. P800.00 – P1000.00 each. 

Maybelline The False Lash Mascara in Blackest Black Waterproof, K-Palette Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Jet Black , The Face Shop Color My Eye Brow in Gray Brown , Wet’n’Wild Ultimate Eyebrow Kit

1. Maybelline The False Lash Mascara - My favorite mascara everrrr.   I’ve used tons of mascaras, even high end ones, but nothing keeps my stubborn lashes curled like this mascara does.  This is the Thai version of the Maybelline The Falsies.  They’re not quite the same, but the Philippine version works just fine too.

Available in all Maybelline Counters for P499.00.  This was around 250.00 Baht. 

2. K-Palette Liquid Eyeliner - This eyeliner is so easy to use and it’s spoiled me so much I hardly every use my gel liners anymore. :)) It stays on all day without smudging but it’s easy to correct if you make any mistakes.  :)

Available at Beauty Bar for P795.00 each 

3. The Face Shop Color My Brow - I love this brow tint!  It’s the perfect shade for me and it lightens my eyebrows so I don’t have to use a really dark powder when filling in my eyebrows.

Available at The Face Shop stores for P395.00 

4. Wet’n’wild Ultimate Eyebrow Kit - I got this kit as a gift about a year ago and I didn’t like it when I first tried it.  The powder was really soft and crumbly, so if you’re not used to it, you might apply too much.  Eventually I got the hang of it and I’ve been using it every single day without fail.  I could sing praises about this brow powder all day. haha!  This is so inexpensive but the quality is at par (if not better) with high-end eyebrow powders.  It takes forever to use this up too!  I’ve been using this one for more than 6 months and I’m just starting to hit pan on the light brown shade.

It also comes with a small brush and tweezer, but I misplaced them so they’re not in the photo.

Available at Purebeauty and Wet’n’Wild kiosks for P399.00

Ever Bilena Grip Lash Curler

This is one of my best finds from local beauty brands!  I’ve had this lash curler for over a year now, and I still favor this over a couple of more expensive lash curlers that I’ve used.  It fits my eye shape perfectly and it really curls my stubbornly straight lashes.

I still use my heated lash curler but this is something I always reach for when I’m pressed for time.

Available in all Ever Bilena counters for P95.00 

When it comes to lipsticks, I favor really bright or really dark shades.

These are some of the recent additions to my MAC Lipstick collection and I just love these shades for the Holiday season!

Riri Woo – This limited edition lipstick is very matte and is a screaming bright red with blue undertones.  This is so bright it’s almost glowing, but it is offset by the retro matte finish.  This has to be, hands down, my favorite red lipstick of all time.  I’m so glad my cousin got me another tube and it will be arriving soon! <3

Riri Woo is my go to lipstick for the times when I’m too lazy to put on eyeshadow.  It more than compensates for the lack of color on my lids.

I got this at @makeupbuffetph for P800.00

Fixed on Drama  – This is an impromptu purchase.  It’s the perfect matte brownish red lipstick that seems to have walked out of the 1920’s, and I just had to have it!  This is similar to Diva, but it is much darker and less red.

This is already sold out but I got this from @makeupbuffet as well for P900.00 

Heroine - Ah,  my kryptonite.  If I were to tell you how many purple lipsticks I bought in lieu of this and how long I hoped and waited for it to be repromoted, we could be here for weeks!

I just LOVE this purple lipstick so much.  It’s the perfect magenta-ish violet and I am obsessed with this.   So obsessed that if you ask me what lipstick I’d like to wear permanently, it would be this! haha!  Yeah, I love it that much!

Diva - If Riri Woo and Fixed on Drama were to get married and have lipstick babies, those babies would be Diva lipsticks.  This lipstick is the perfect hit between brown and red, though it seems red is more dominant.

Swipe on this color if you’re wearing taupe based eyeshadow shades.  It  will make you look elegant and classy.

Available at @makeupbuffetph for P800.00  

NYX Lipliners in Purple Rain and Deep Red

If you have favorite lipsticks, you gotta have lipliners to go under those.   I like to use Deep Red whenever I’m wearing Diva, Fixed on Drama and Riri Woo.  Purple Rain for when I’m using Heroine.  Now that sounded wrong, but you know what kind of heroine I’m talking about.

Available at Love Manila for P100.00 each.

LA Colors matte lipstick in Taupe Envy

This is a last minute addendum to my favorites because I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did.  This is a my lips but better shade that leans more towards brown.  I use this whenever I’m too lazy to choose another lip color because it’s just so comfortable to wear.  It doesn’t bleed and it doesn’t dry out my lips.  It’s not totally matte either but it is pretty good despite the lousy packaging.

Available at the Landmark and Purebeauty stores for P95.00 each. 

That concludes my favorites for the month of November!  I know this was pretty late, but hey, better late than never right?

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this post, because it was really fun putting it together and including mini reviews in between.  :)

Until my next post!

xx

Erika

I Just Need to…

November 5, 2013

Do you ever feel like everything is just too much to handle?

I’m sure we’ve all come to a  point where it feels like you’ve been stretched to breaking point.  However, the past 2 months have been really trying for me.  I consider myself pretty adaptable, but I constantly found myself fighting the urge to just shut down and leave everything behind.

Every day became a struggle with a myriad of feelings and events that threatens to overwhelm me at any second.  It took everything I had to just go on and move forward.  It was really hard when everything seems to be going wrong all at the same time.

Today, it culminates into a crescendo (I cannot elaborate on what is happening) and there is nothing I can do but wait and hope for the best.

So here I am.  Exactly 2 months since I last posted anything and I feel and know that I’m no longer the same person who logged in here 2 months ago.  In essence, sure, we constantly change, but not as drastic as I how I feel right now.  I won’t go into details, but it’s just so difficult when you’re going through a lot.  Our whole family is going through a tough moment right now.  We’re all in it and holding on together and I know we will pull through however it turns out, and yet that doesn’t make it any easier.

When some one’s life is hanging in a precarious balance, the fact that you know there is nothing you can do at all is enough to undo you.  Especially when that life is hanging on to the hands of someone you don’t even know or trust.

Personally, I’m going through a lot.  I’ve been so caught up in my life and I can’t help it when tendrils of doubt begin niggling at me.  What am I doing with my life?  Where am I going?  Such questions never fail to put me in a heavy mood.   That’s not the only thing going through my mind, but it is a great chunk of what makes me feel like going crazy lately.

Being in the corporate world means work demands most of your time.  This has been bothering me a lot because there are so many things going on and I feel like I’m up to my eyeballs with the work load.  There are just so many other things I’d like to do and I cannot do it because work seems to be taking everything I have.  There were times when I felt like giving up and turning my back on everything.  But I had too much pride and self-respect for that.   Despite that, I allowed myself to grieve and be sad about what I was going through.  I accepted that I have to fall down if I want to rise back up.

It took a lot of time and thought, and I overanalyzed everything until I was emotionally and mentally exhausted.  Most weekends, I just sleep off the exhaustion until past noon.   As much as I want to work on blog posts or edit the videos I’ve been filming, I just felt like I needed a break from obligations.

There are so many thoughts whirling in my head and I admit that at times, I get sucked into the vortex of negativity.

This is why I haven’t posted anything despite my promises to post reviews.  I really tried to work on them, but I just couldn’t. Honestly, I’d rather not post anything than to publish something that I am not completely happy with.

For the entire month of September, I stuck to a routine because it was taking everything I have to just keep going.  I tried to push myself to at least use blogging as an outlet, but I wasn’t happy with what I came up with so I decided to just take a step back from it.  I took a step back from everything in my life except work.  I poured everything and focused everything in my work.  I also spent more time talking and being with my friends.

It helped.

Last Friday, I went on a spontaneous trip to try something new.  I was hesitant at first, but I was glad I went for it because it made me happy.  Happier than I have been in the past months.

For the first time in what seems like forever, I was able to breathe freely.  It was liberating to just let go of all my worries and have fun again.

To my friends who have been there for me the past few weeks, I can’t thank you enough.  If you’re reading this, then you know who you are.

I’m starting to heal now.  It’s a slow and painful process when you’re healing emotional wounds, but I know I’ll be fine.

You might ask, ‘so why are you writing this’?  I’m writing this to remind myself of what I went through and all that I still have to go through.  I’m writing this to remind myself that I am strong enough to pull through.  Most of all, I’m writing this to remind myself that I have to go back to this point and pick up where I left off.

There’s enough time for that.

Now, I just have to focus stand with my family, now that they need me.

Wish me luck.

xx

Erika

Collective Haul

September 5, 2013

Okay, before I start, I just want to clarify  that these items were bought sporadically in a period of 3 months.

Needless to say, I only realized that I totally bombed my shopping budget when I finally got around to shooting a collective haul.  -__-  But at that point, what else can I do but use and enjoy them?

totally went overboard.  Even I have to admit that. -_- The thing is… I wasn’t planning on purchasing Real Techniques brushes.  Or the Beauty Blender.  Even the Con Air heat waves, but they sort of snuck up on me and I just wasn’t able to resist.

I’ll tell you all about it as I run through the items and give my mini reviews and first impression on these items.

Con Air Heat Waves with Jumbo and Super Jumbo rollers and clip

This was an impulse purchase.  I have super straight and fine hair so I am obsessed with curlers and rollers.  I’ve wanted to get one of these ever since I saw Judy of itsjudytime use this on her hair tutorial.  Nobody sells Con Air styling products locally, except for the random curling irons here and there.  So when I spotted this in an online shop, I just HAD TO get it! …  This was P2000.00 including shipping.  I think it’s a pretty fair price already because this is about 40.00 USD.

I’ve used this a couple of times already and I just love how easy it is to use!  Totally worth the dent in my wallet! haha!

Double Drawer Acrylic Cosmetic Organizer 

I got this from an online store for about P350.00 I think.  It’s a really good price because other shops sells this for P550.00.  I had to reorganize my dresser to accomodate this.  In the end, I just switched the top part with the old one (place on top of the drawers) that I was using because the items I had just can’t fit in the other one.  I’m setting it aside, in case I feel like re organizing again. :)

Nicole Powder Sifter 

Got these for P40.00++ each at Watsons.  I use this for my Ben Nye Banana powder.  I’m thinking of getting the Cameo and Neutral set soon so I purchased a back up sifter.  These are a bit hard to find because not all Watsons store stocks them.  I bought the first one in Watsons Greenhills and the back up in Watsons SM North The Block. :)

Double Duo Beauty Blender Kit 

Ah, the ubiquitous Beauty Blender.  I refused to be sucked in by the hype when they started to appear in online stores last year.  I was never a fan of sponges when it comes to makeup application so I wasn’t interested in this.  I remember thinking that it’s a ridiculously overpriced sponge that will definitely suck all of your foundation into it’s greedy core.

I remained a skeptic until my cousin Giezelle of Third World Fashion insisted that it’s really good.  Now, if you know my cousin, she loves looking for dupes of expensive products.  The fact that she insisted for me to try this means it’s an exceptional product.

I got a great deal for this because I pre-ordered it from The Makeup Junkie Shop :)  The lowest price I’ve seen for on-hand stock of this kit is P2100.00 and it can even go up to P2550.00.  But I only got mine for P1900.00 :D

I had to wait for about 3 weeks, but that’s completely fine since I didn’t need them urgently.

You know what? I TOTALLY ADORE this thing!  It’s the most amazing beauty tool everrrrrrr!  I have dry skin so using a beauty blender to apply my makeup base is a nice way to avoid build up on dry patches.  Plus it makes any makeup base look fantastic on my skin!

Real Techniques Brushes 

Duo Fiber Collection (LE), Powder Brush, Blush Brush, Stippling Brush, Expert Face Brush, Lash and Brow Groomer, Eye Starter Set

This is another line of product that I studiously ignored since last year.  I just knew that if I bought any of it, I will end up buying more, so I convinced myself not to buy any of it and that the brightly colored handles are rather tacky.

They just had to ruin my resolve by coming up with the Duo Fiber collection.  I am a sucker for Duo Fiber brushes and white brush handles.  And the Duo Fiber set was just really beautiful, so I bought it… Then Carefreeshopper started selling all of them at lower prices, and I was an absolute goner.

I don’t regret it though, because these brushes are comparable to high end brushes, and I am really happy I was sucked into the Real Techniques vortex.

Oh I have a review coming up for these!  I’m probably the last person to jump into the RT bandwagon, but better late than never right?

Chic Cosmetics 5-piece Kabuki Brush Set

Where to start?   I  have a love-hate relationship with this brush set.  These are supposed to be dupes for the Sigma Kabuki brushes and while these brushes work well, there are some nuances that makes these subpar copies of Sigma.

To be fair, the brushes are actually nice.  They are nicely made, starting from the black wooden handles and the Sigma-ish font used for branding down to the soft bristles.  The flat top one is excellent and I love using it to apply my makeup base.

So what’s the catch?  Well there are several:

A) The brushes are not as densely packed as it looks.

B) There are random prickly bristles in some of the brushes

C)  The brushes bleed and they shed even after the first few times I spot cleaned them with Parian Spirit.  I didn’t dare deep clean them because I was scared that the bristles will just fall off. 

I guess I shouldn’t be so harsh, because this set is only P1100.00 (I got mine for 1000.00 bec. it was on sale) almost the same as the price of one Sigma F80 and barely 1/3 the price of the Sigma Kabuki set.   I can forgive the fact that it’s not as dense as Sigma brushes.  After all, they do function just as well.

But I just cannot get over the prickliness and shedding. -_- Even Landmark brushes do not do that!  I read a lot of reviews about these and there wasn’t a single complaint about them, which is why I decided to get them.  I was so sad that I got disappointed because I really really wanted to like them.

I sent a feedback to the seller, telling her about my concerns because I might have gotten a bad batch.  She apologized about it and even sent me another set.  No questions asked.  I offered to return the first set but she insisted that there is no need.  I am yet to use the second set (but i did poke around to see if they have prickly bristles.  They didn’t!) so I can’t say for certain if my first set was a dud.

I already have a review for these brushes coming up so check back for that if you’re interested :)

ELF Stipple Brush, ELF Small Stipple Brush and Artist Studio Crease brush 

ELF Stipple brush is available in all leading dept. stores for P249.75, but the small stipple brush is only available in online stores.  I got both online for P200.00 each.  These brushes are too flimsy to use for foundations but I find that it’s excellent to use with very pigmented blushes.  The bristles are very bendy and do not pick up a lot of product so they’re perfect to use with my La Femme Blush palette.

Artist Studio brushes are inexpensive brushes from the Landmark.  I love this brand!  Their brushes are really soft and sturdy.  All of their brushes are priced at P140.00 below.   This crease brush is about 60 or 70 pesos.  Can’t really remember.  I really like this!  It’s perfect for blending in eyeshadow shades.  I always use this to apply my eyeshadow when I’m in a hurry and it’s works really well. :)

The best part?  Their brushes do not look or feel cheap at all! :)

Purederm and Beauty Buffet Face Masks

I have been obsessed with face masks lately.  I much prefer the “face pack” more the the sheet variant, and these are the ones that I’ve been using for the past months :)

You can get these at any Watsons store.  The face packs are P39.75 each.  They sometimes have a buy 2 take 1 sale on these so keep your eyes peeled for the tiny “sale” sign on the racks.   The Collagen Eye Zone face masks are my absolute favorite!  I apply them right before going to sleep.  I wake up with dried up sheets on my face (or they sometimes peel off) and lighter looking under eyes! <3

I’ve tried a lot of face mask sheets, but so far, the Caviar and Biopeptide from Beauty Buffet (P44.00) is the one I always go back to.  Unlike some sheet masks, this variant do not sting the eyes and it leaves my skin looking fresh and supple.

Garnier BB Cream 

These much raved about BB creams are so hard to get!!! They aren’t available locally and no one stocks them so I had to pre order it. -_-  The price was almost double the US price at P700.00 each, but still a good value for money since each tube has 75mL of product in it.  I ordered 2 because I have a really good feeling this will work well for me.

I tried a Garnier BB cream from Thailand a few months ago and I really loved it!  The formulation is a bit different though, so I’ll be creating a comparison post between the two. I promise that I will write it within the month. :D

ELF: Eyebrow Kit in Medium, Stencil and Lip Exfoliator – NYX Matte Lipstick in Tea Rose and Natural Look palette, BYS Eyebrow pencil, Makeup Academy Undress Me Too Palette, Wet’n’Wild Walking on Eggshells Eyeshadow Trio, Maybelline BB Stick in Fresh

These are a bunch of products that I’ve been meaning to get for some time.  I managed to purchase them bit by bit the past months.  All of these are nice except for the BB stick.  It broke me out!  Which NEVER EVER happens!  UCK.  and the BYS eyebrow pencil which is just too slick and soft to work nicely as an eyebrow pencil.

Totally regretting that I purchased those.  As for the others, you will be seeing some of them in my upcoming Favorites post :D

Bioderma Sensibio Solution Micelle 

*excuse the crappy foggy looking photo*

This is probably the most raved about makeup remover ever.  I’ve been curious about this but I never got around to buying one because most online stores sell this for P1350.00 or P1400.00.  C-R-A-Z-Y.  I know the shipping could be expensive, but really?!  I’ve seen these in French pharmacies when I was in Paris over 2 years ago and you can get two 500mL bottle for only 15 Euros.   That is about 900 bucks for two bottles.

Now you know why I refuse to pay more than triple the price for this thing.

Until I spotted this in Watsons SM Aura.  I remembered that the BYS counter there had one bottle of Bioderma and they even encourage customers to use it when removing product swatches.  I only wanted to check out if it was still there when I saw they are now selling this particular Bioderma product… PLUS it was only P799.00.  That’s probably the best price I could get here in Manila so I immediately purchased it and tried it when I got home.

I have to give it Bioderma, because this product is really worth the hype!  It’s really mild but it effectively removes makeup and does not sting.

I found a cheaper alternative to this just a few weeks ago and I’m currently testing them for a comparison post. :)

Let me know if you’re interested to see that. :)

99% Alcohol by Nigel FX Beauty Emporium 

I am an avid follower of Wayne Goss of Gossmakeupartist on Youtube.  I just love love LOVE his makeup ideas and techniques.  Ironically enough, the first time I heard about him was in a hate post about his brush cleaning method.

He uses 99% percent alcohol to clean his brushes.  And his brushs are no ordinary brushes.  He uses mostly Tom Ford, Rae Morries, Hakuhodo, Make Up For Ever, and Nars.  Yes. You read that right.  I was a bit skeptical at first, but you know, if it’s good enough for his brushes then they sure as well worth trying!

I used to deep clean my brushes every 2-3 weeks and it takes me HOURS to do it.  It was a relief when I started using Parian Spirit, which works well.   But Wayne’s method really piqued my curiosity, so when I saw that Purebeauty Trinoma sells 99% alcohol, I purchased one right away.

And you know what?  I loved it!  It’s so inexpensive and it really works!  Nevermind what people say about making your brushes brittle.  It is not true.  All those overpriced brush cleaners from other brands have loads of 99% alcohol in them.  The only difference is they have “oils” and perfume that makes your brushes smell nice.  But overtime, those emollient oils actually cause residue build up on your brushes.

Right now I alternate this with Parian Spirit and deep clean when necessary. :)

Graftobian 99% alcohol in 150mL spray bottle – P250.00

Nigel FX Beauty Emporium 16 oz. 99% alcohol – P585.00 

Brush Guards from Beauty Bar (P249.00) and Chic Cosmetics (P285.00)

I like to use these after cleaning and air drying my brushes to keep my them in tip top shape.  Each pack comes with 15 brush guards in varying sizes.

Vintage Louis Vuitton bag, Charlie Sunglasses, Staccato Captoe pumps, Stradivarius Strappy flat sandals, Alexander McQueen Paddington Boots in Blood Red

I didn’t have a lot of fashion purchases the past few months, because obviously, I spent most of my money on beauty products.  However these are some of the items I just couldn’t pass up buying!

I got the LV bag for a really good deal from a friend and the McQueen boots from Unisex Rewind.  These have to be the best designer finds I’ve ever had as of late.

I know captoe pumps are so last year,  but I never stopped wanting these Staccato pumps so I bought them when CMG had a 50% off sale.   As for the sandals, well, I really love Stradivarius and they caught me at a weak moment because I was looking for a pair of flats the day I spotted these… Well, you know what happened next.

—–

That was everything I bought the past three months!  Well at  least the beauty and fashion related ones.  Whew! I feel like I’ve been typing and typing and typing endlessly!  I hope I didn’t bore you with all of my ramblings.  I was torn between keeping it short or being detailed.  So I tried doing both…. What do you think?

Let me know if there are products your are interested in so I can create a more in-depth review.  Simply leave me a comment if you have questions or suggestions!

Thank you so much for bearing with me and reading this post up to here.

Cheers!

Erika

P.S.  Posting my August beauty favorites in the next few days! :)

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