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New Loves: 2016

Hey everyone, I’m alive. I just wanted to take a bit of time to write about some (admittedly kind of boring, but still amazing) things that I’ve been enjoying during the year so far. To be honest, I haven’t been that adventurous with makeup in a while. I’ve been working part-time and I usually have to throw on a quick lewk before dashing out the door.

In any case, what I’ve got here are just essentials, really, to my routine lately. I tried to pick the items I haven’t really spoken about at length here before. Just a disclaimer: most of this post is made up of items that are gifted by friends and family or sent by PR teams, as that’s the only time I’ve been able to really test new stuff out. I’ve cut down on my spending (on makeup, at least) a lot as I’m saving up for trips later on in the year.

Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment

One of my mom’s brothers has been based in Australia for a while with his family and his wife (my aunt) brought this back on one of their trips back here. I hadn’t paid much attention to it before because I was busy with other lip stuff, but it’s actually been really helpful for stubborn dryness, as well as for other skin shit that needs soothing. A+! I think they sell these here, but at kind of exorbitant prices.

FS Duo Eyebrow Pen in Shade 2*

The PR team of FS Cosmetics graciously sent me this eyebrow pen (my request) and some tiny lipstick samples a few weeks ago. I have to say I’m pretty obsessed with these retractable-type of eyebrow pencils—where the tips are a bit harder/stiffer than the pencils you sharpen. This one has kind of a duo-color tip (as opposed to being dual-ended as I initially thought) and combines a warm brown and an ash brown/grey to create a nice brow match for my black hair that’s not too harsh on my face.

Nudestix Eyebrow Stylus Pencil & Gel in Dirty Blonde*

I wrote about this here, but I just wanted to say that I’ve been enjoying it still! It gives such good definition to my brows, even with the shade match, and I use it when I don’t want a super dark brow. It blends in with my dark hair, too, rather (surprisingly) seamlessly.

Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray

I got this years ago and it’s still going strong. To be fair, I don’t use it everyday, but it gives me enough texture in my hair that makes me look less like a mushroom-head. I don’t get “sexy, beach, windswept” hair, but I don’t really expect much from it since my hair’s pretty thick. I’m okay with a little bit of texture.

Bumble and Bumble Cityswept Finishing Spray

I got this from Shine, who says it doesn’t work much for her. Again, it’s supposed to create something like “lived-in,” messy bed-head, but I get more of a slightly piece-y style that, again, prevents mushroom-head. I use this alone or with the Surf Spray. It doesn’t make a lot of a difference, but it does enough for me.

Bioré Uru Uru 2-in-1 Instant Foaming Wash*

I received this from Bioré and I wasn’t super excited about it at first since I thought I would be receiving their micellar water (I’m an ingrate), but obviously I ate my words because you can see it as part of this post. It foams up really densely—I can’t stress this enough; apparently it has 8x denser foam than your typical foaming facial wash—and it washes away all makeup in one go. I kid you not; I even tried it with mascara, as per Chi’s query.

The Uru Uru 2-in-1 Instant Foaming Wash contains “40% Beauty Essence” including glycerin, rose hip extract, and royal jelly extract that supposedly moisturizes your skin, too. I have to say that it does provide adequate moisture; I sometimes forego my night moisturizer when I’m feeling truly lazy. My only qualm about this, probably, is that it smells so strongly of roses. Like, it doesn’t smell awful, but it’s just a strong scent, so heads up if you’re sensitive to fragrance!

New Loves - 2016a

And that’s it! Sorry these are “boring” products, but they’ve helped me cut back on steps in my routine and streamline it, so that’s always good. Let me know what you’ve been enjoying lately!

* Items marked with an asterisk are PR Samples.

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Sephora Says Hello!

Good news, girls and boys—Sephora has come to Philippine shores! The Sephora team kindly sent me some of the products they carry on their website, and honestly, it felt a little bit like Christmas to me.

If you shop online a lot and the list of brands seems familiar to you, it’s because Luxola (which I’ve mentioned here and here) has rebranded to They’re rolling out more brands soon, and I tried to poke around to see which ones, but they wanted stuff to be a surprise (understandably!), so I guess my fingers are crossed for some of my favorite Sephora staples to cross over.


What’s great about, too, is that there is a pretty varied selection. Here are just 3 cruelty-free brands that they carry:

Sephora-NudeStix, Mirenesse, Winky Lux

Nudestix Eyebrow Stylus Pencil and Waterproof Setting Gel in Dirty Blonde*

I didn’t think this was going to work out for me because of the color, but it was so easy to use and the shade matched me strangely well! I love the soft definition it gives to the brows. The pencil end is sort of a triangular/tapered shape, with the lead a bit hard (good) and not waxy. The pigment applies well and smoothly, though. The setting gel is pretty nice—definitely made me see the difference between a setting gel and regular clear mascara.


The Nudestix products come in a beautiful tin case, and when you open the lid and flip it, it has a mirror. I think it’s great for travel and the size is great at making sure you don’t haul large amounts of cosmetics with you. It keeps them snug and safe, too.

Winky Lux Lip Velour in Babe*

Winky Lux is a new brand to me, but I thought the packaging was so cute! Babe is a beautiful everyday color that has a pop of brightness, and the bullet is small (and cute!) enough to bring around for touch-ups. The formula is quite nice for a matte, and it is reasonably pigmented, too.

Mirenesse Ink Liner in Orgasm*

Another new brand to me, Mirenesse is based in Australia and also, as I’ve mentioned, cruelty-free. I actually received a small packet of Mirenesse items, and they all look quite nice. The Ink Liner is budge-proof (surprising, on my waterline) and Orgasm is a great eye brightener that’s not too stark or bold like some liners are.



I’ll be rolling out some more reviews in the coming days. I actually used the Sephora brushes* for this look, too, and my favorite is the 83 PRO Ultra-liquid foundation and 75 PRO Angled contour brushes. Very surprised that I enjoyed using the 37 PRO winged liner brush. I’m also particularly keen on trying the Alpha-H Liquid Gold* (something I’ve had on my wishlist since Luxola). Other cruelty-free brands that have caught my eye: Zoeva (still!) and Cover FX. Exciting times up ahead!

* Items marked with an asterisk are PR Samples.

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MAC Marge’s Extra Ingredients Quad

Aside from the 3 blush pans, Laura also sent me an LE MAC quad from the Simpsons collection from a while back. She received it gratis, which explains the lack of special packaging, and said she thought it would be fun for me to try out.

This one’s called Marge’s Extra Ingredients and has four colors: Harpooned Heart, Sexy PB & J, Beehive Blue, Vivacious Vacuum Cleaner Bag.

  • Harpooned Heart: light baby pink (Lustre)
  • Sexy PB & J: mid-tone bright violet (Veluxe pearl)
  • Beehive Blue: mid-tone bright blue (Veluxe Pearl)
  • Vivacious Vacuum Cleaner Bag: deep navy (Frost)

FYR: lustre (smoothly pearlized; intensely frosted with deluxe ultrafine ‘conditioned’ finish), veluxe pearl (vibrantly toned. Velvety soft. Shimmeringly metallic. Veluxe eyeshadow, now overlaid with high-shine pearl), frost (an iridescent shine that adds a highlight to any color).

MAC Marge's Extra Ingredient Quad - Swatches - Harpooned Heart, Sexy PB and J, Beehive Blue, Vivacious Vacuum Cleaner Bag
Swatched, L-R: Harpooned Heart, Sexy PB and J, Beehive Blue, Vivacious Vacuum Cleaner Bag

When I started getting into makeup, I was really drawn to purples (especially when it comes to eyeshadow), but I don’t wear that color that much anymore unless it’s purple-toned blush. Laura was right, though. Because these aren’t colors I normally pick out, they were fun to play with.

I don’t know why, but I really have a hard time wearing cool-toned eyeshadow. Anyway, of the four shades, my favorites to work with are Sexy PB&J and Beehive Blue. Coincidentally, both are veluxe pearl eyeshadows.

MAC Marge's Extra Ingredient Quad -2

The pans are cute and pressed with a section of Marge’s face and iconic hairdo.

MAC Marges Extra Ingredients Quad

Mmm, this is pretty much your standard gradation: Harpooned Heart pretty much packed on the inner 2/3 of the lid, meeting up with Sexy PB&J which I added on the outer half (so they’re mixed in the center lid), and a bit of Vivacious Vacuum Cleaner Bag on the very outer ‘v’. I used Beehive Blue on the outer half of my lower lashline but didn’t like how BLUE it was, so I covered it with a medium brown eyeliner.

Carina and Isa Here’s a photo of me and my best friend, Isa. I don’t know if it makes it easier to see the eyeshadow (I don’t imagine it does), but here’s one with the, um, context of my whole face.

Mmm I don’t remember what I was wearing this day. I think I had on bareMinerals Complexion Rescue, an LMdB pressed powder, probably a bit of Kjaer Weis Abundance and Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium. Eyeliner was a brown-black liquid liner by K-Palette* And I think I had on NARS Audacious Lipstick in Julie, but then I ate and it rubbed off.

I love the quad, but I think it would be more amazing if worn with other eyeshadows (probably neutrals?) just to ground them. I don’t typically wear super colorful eyeshadow anymore, though now that I’ve written that, I’m wondering why I stopped, a little bit. Eyeshadow is fun!

Anyway, that’s my exciting~ post for the day. I still love makeup! I still have to keep myself from buying everything in sight! I hope you’re all having a good day.

* Items marked with an asterisk (*) are PR samples.

Eyeshadow quad was gifted by Laura ❤ Sorry this is limited edition, but I've seen it on eBay, if you're interested.

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Sample Stash Sunday No. 1

I’ve been doing Sample Stash Sundays for a few years on this blog, and the feature comes and goes, and actually focuses on specific samples at a time. Well, in an effort to destash my samples and keep them from wasting away, I made a dedicated attempt at using them up. But, I’m going to be posting the little reviews in groups. So, we’re going to start back at “No. 1.” Because I said so.

Here’s a look at my first batch of samples, some of which were tried from late last year.

Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Treatment Mask*

This was honestly a great moisturizing mask, but I am just really averse to creams you wipe away from your face. I just don’t like that sensation. This was very effective in moisturizing my face, though, especially taking care of the dry patches around my mouth area, which regular moisturizers tend to leave dry. Recommend if you don’t mind wiping off product from your face.

GLAMGLOW POWERMUD™ Dualcleanse Treatment Mask

This stung the shit out of my face. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or if my face was just frakking up at the time, but after using this, I broke out like I have never broken out before. (This makeup item is also on my list of suspects, but I’ve been using it for a while and I haven’t had the same bad reaction again.) I read a review on Sephora that claims this broke her out, too, and that she (like me) didn’t get acne very much. Wouldn’t recommend because it hurt my face and broke me out.

Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment

Just alright! Nothing to write home about.

DryBar Sake Bomb Shampoo & Conditioner

I loved this tandem and was very sorry when my pithy packets ran out.

Nuxe Crème Prodigieuse Anti-Fatigue Moisturizing Cream

This was very nice and smelled very soothing. Very nice smell to fall asleep to. The moisturizing aspect didn’t stand out so much to me, but it was, on the whole, quite a pleasant cream.

Marie-Stella-Maris No 74 Body Lotion (Lemon Notes)

I got this from Angel (Nosy Beauty feature here), who lives in Amsterdam, where Marie-Stella-Maris is from. The lotion itself was a bit runny, which is good for humid climates, but part of me felt like it wouldn’t fare well in cold & dry places. It smelled a bit like it had ginger in it or something! Definitely lemon-y, but I felt like I smelled a bit like tinola, which is a local chicken soup that’s heavy on the lemon and ginger. Haha.

RMS Beauty the ultimate makeup remover wipe

Got this in my RMS order. Quite nice and effective; dreadfully smelled so much like coconut (understandably).

And, that’s a wrap! I’m going to keep using up my samples and report back with my findings. I have been having quite a bit of fun but had to stop with the creams and such when my face decided to act out. I have quite a few makeup samples, too, so those should be exciting.

* Although all samples are technically free (like as GWPs), items marked with an asterisk are PR Samples, as in I did not make a purchase that resulted in me acquiring them.

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MAC Blush Palette 2016 Update

About two years and a few odd months ago, I hauled a sizable MAC purchase, which was kindly arranged for me by my friend Laura, who works there. I purchased the large/double palette with eyeshadow and blush inserts, along with three powder blushes that I never got around to adding to.

Over the holidays, Laura sent me three more—out of the goodness of her heart—and it made me want to do a MAC Blush Palette update. Here’s what she picked out for me!

MAC Powder Blush in Peachykeen, Breath of Plum & Breezy

MAC Blush - Peachykeen, Breath of Plum, Breezy - Swatches
Swatched, L-R: Peachykeen, Breath of Plum, Breezy

Peachykeen is a “very baby peach” sheertone shimmer blush. Breath of Plum is a “light plum” sheertone blush. Breezy is a “plum with pearl” sheertone shimmer blush.

Not an expert on MAC blushes, but here’s a helpful guide I found at Nordstrom:

FROST (F): Iridescent, lightly shimmering color. Adds highlights: provides a frosted ‘bloom’ to the cheeks.
MATTE (M): Flat matte finish. Goes on lightly. Builds well. Blends with the skin.
SATIN (S): Light-refractive sheen-style finish. Adds subtle highlights to the skin.
SHEERTONE (ST): Shy-on tints in a sheer-on micro-refined powder. Not transparent. Goes on faint. Looks real.
SHEERTONE SHIMMER (SS): Jet-milled and micro-fine, just like Sheertone, but tickled with just-enough shimmer to make light dance on the cheeks.

I currently own 5 sheertone shimmers (!) and 1 sheertone powder blushes. I think I have a Pearlmatte Powder from the Archie’s Girls Collection that features a matte blush called Frankly Scarlet and an Extra Dimension Blush called Fiery Impact, used here, which is rather nice.

Wearing Breath of Plum

MAC Blush - Face Swatch - Breath of Plum
Mistakenly thought this was a matte blush! True to the description, it’s pretty much a tint and only faintly appears on the face. I like it quite a lot! A good, plummy spin on natural-looking blush shades.

I haven’t worn the other two just yet, but here are swatches from another angle.

MAC Sheertone Shimmer Blush in Breezy

MAC Blush - Peachykeen, Breath of Plum, Breezy - Swatches 2
Swatched, L-R: Peachykeen, Breath of Plum, Breezy

I noticed the pearlescent effect of Breezy right away—sort of like a red violet lean to a medium-deep plum blush, especially when you switch angles. The sheen isn’t as present on the cheeks as it is as a swatch, but it’s still quite beautiful. Also, I find that I don’t mind the shimmer in these blushes so much as I do with other shimmery cheek products. I tend to shy away from shimmery blushes, but I guess there’s a reason why I’ve got five sheertone shimmers out of six MAC blushes.

MAC Sheertone Shimmer Blush in Peachykeen

MAC Blush - Peachykeen, Breath of Plum, Breezy - Swatches 3
Swatched, L-R: Peachykeen, Breath of Plum, Breezy

This is such a pretty shade, although Peachykeen really appears only as a hint on my face. It’s a good kind of glowy, natural, pick-me-up shade, though I haven’t worn in quite often enough to make a judgment. First impression, though, is that I really like it.

So, here is my completed blush palette—

MAC Blush Palette
Top row, L-R: Plumfoolery, Breath of Plum, Breezy; Bottom row, L-R: Springsheen, Ambering Rose, Peachykeen

MAC Blush Palette Swatches—

MAC Blush - Peachykeen, Breath of Plum, Breezy, Springsheen, Ambering Rose, Plumfoolery - Swatches
Swatched, L-R: Peachykeen, Breath of Plum, Breezy, Springsheen, Ambering Rose, Plumfoolery

And just for fun, I’ve unearthed my old photos of when I used/reviewed the older blushes:

Wearing Springsheen

LGM - Day to Night - MAC Mythology - Night
Springsheen (reviewed here) is a “peach with pearl” sheertone shimmer blush. It’s got a similar look to NARS Orgasm, but it’s warmer and less pink.

Wearing Ambering Rose

MAC - Ambering Rose Blush - Face
Ambering Rose (reviewed here) is a “muted rose” sheertone shimmer blush. It’s quite copper-y (or, I guess, “amber”) and great for the summer months. I don’t know if I’d recommend this for fairer skin (it might be too harsh/deep), but it shows up quite nicely on medium skin like mine.

Wearing Plumfoolery

MAC - Plumfoolery Face 1
Plumfoolery (reviewed here) is a “faintly plum” sheertone shimmer blush, and was possibly my favorite of the original 3 I had. It’s reaaaaally pretty, and subtle—10/10 would recommend if you’re looking for a subtle but glow-y plum shade.

To be honest, receiving these blushes (as well as another palette I bought earlier in the year—WATCH OUT FOR THAT) rekindled the desire in me to give blushes another shot. I’d been pretty much wearing bronzer or neutral/brown/pinky-mauve shades on the rare occasion that I do wear blush. Any tips are greatly appreciated. Hope you’re all doing well! x

* Peachykeen, Breath of Plum, and Breezy were all gifts from Laura. ❤

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ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip

I know I look like I’ve been on a little bit of a ColourPop streak, but I literally placed only 2 orders towards the end of last year and have divvied up the items so that they don’t get too overwhelming. 🙂 Right now, I’m going to talk a bit about the ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip, which is a new product to me. They’re pretty much the same as the matte liquid lipsticks that have been popping up all over the place lately: a lipstick with a pigmented, opaque gloss-like consistency that dries matte. I do, however, really like this formula way more than the other ones I’ve tried thus far.

I’ve seen a lot of other liquid lipsticks I wanted to try, but one major aspect of me picking ColourPop was the price point and their “no animal testing policy.” There’s still a hint of seediness to this whole out-of-nowhere, overly-hip weird operation, in my opinion, but nothing that strikes me as overly sinister. But anyway.

I got 3 shades, (from top to bottom): Dr M, Kapow, and Trap.

ColourPop - Ultra Matte Lip - Dr M, Kapow, Trap - Swatches

Kapow, a muted grey taupe, was the one I wanted the most but I wasn’t able to order it for my first order because it was out of stock. I ended up taking home Trap, a dusty greyed-out beige, and Dr M, a deep blackened green. Both Kapow and Trap are matte, shimmer-free, and pull a little purple on me. Dr M has a bit of a metallic sheen to it that actually made me get it in the first place.

These dry to a true matte, but they don’t flake off. This is usually where I run into some problems for “matte liquid lipsticks.” They usually flake off or are too sticky/tacky. These are neither, so that was a pro for me right away.

They are, to some degree, drying (but they don’t suck out all the moisture from your lips) and the color stays on your lips unless you eat something oily, which kind of removes the color from the inner part of your lips, but not entirely. In my opinion, these are easy to apply, and are buildable/workable especially if you don’t wait for the first layers to completely dry before adding a new one. They also last surprisingly well through eating, as much as you could want or expect from a matte lip product.

Wearing Trap

FOTD-Neutrals and Navy-Face2
ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip - Trap
It doesn’t look as mauve-y/rosy as it does in the swatch, and is probably closer to the description when worn. Indoor lighting is a pain in the ass, but I hope you can see which tones pull stronger on me/my complexion.

Wearing Kapow

ColourPop - Kapow - Face
Depending on whether or not I feel like a BAMF HBIC, this is potential Power Lip levels. Kapow is a “muted grey taupe,” which is a good shade for me, as someone who has fairly medium skin but is also quite attracted to grey lip shades at the moment. By which, I mean, this is a good grey, thank goodness.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a face-swatch of how Dr. M looks like. I still haven’t worn it beyond “playing around” at home. Anyway, I don’t know what I was thinking, but I now have a deep green lip somewhere in my arsenal, and though I am somewhat afraid to use it, I’ll definitely find an occasion, too. I think.

True to my initial leanings, my favorite of the three turned out to be Kapow. It’s such a great, deeper shade that’s not a conventional brown, red, or purple. Will I get any more? Probably not, but just because there’s not a lot of the shades that feel like I must have, personally. I do love the formula, though, especially as far as matte lips go. I just have too much lip products at the moment.

Judging from other people’s swatches and stuff on this range, though, I think that if you’re starting to build your collection, the matte formula would suit a lot of bolder colors like a classic red or some of the brights. I’m not sure if I would like any nudes in this formula (personally), but ColourPop has a wide, wide range.

* Items marked with an asterisk are PR Samples.

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New Discoveries from Indie Lee

The Indie Lee Blemish Lotion and Calendula Eye Balm aren’t necessarily new items, but they are new to me. I was wrestling with a weirdly relentless bout of acne and was a little desperate for a spot treatment, so in the bin the Blemish Lotion went. I was also looking for a replacement for my current eye cream, which is by One Love Organics. It was okay, as far as moisture went, but I was also in the mood to try something else.

IndieLee - Blemish Lotion, Calendula Eye Balm - 1

The Blemish Lotion ($26; shop here) is a talc-free spot treatment, where you let a 100% natural solution of colloidal sulfur, zinc oxide, salicylic acid, magnesium aluminum silicate, camphor, and iron oxide settle onto the bottom of a bottle of water and isopropyl alcohol. You dip a cotton swab in the settled sediment and apply to spots, over a few hours or overnight.

I swear, this has been a game changer for me. I tend to get really persistent spots around my nose area, but this calmed them down after just one application which has never happened to me and spots, ever. I think it’s safe to say that this product receives two thumbs up from me!

IndieLee - Blemish Lotion, Calendula Eye Balm - 2

I think it’s a bit too soon to exact judgment on the Calendula Eye Balm ($42; shop here). It’s supposed to significantly reduce dark circles, due to the Mango seed butter, so I’m watching out for any changes as far as that area is concerned. It’s definitely more of a balm consistency than my previous eye cream, but I like that it isn’t as goopy and messy.

My experience with Indie Lee has been so good, so far. I’m going to test these out longer (and maybe wait for another sale!) before I go and try out some of their other offerings. I’m eyeing the Brightening Cleanser, CoQ-10 Toner, and the Swiss Apple Facial Serum, which is a definite risky splurge.

* Items marked with an asterisk are PR Samples.

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