Sunpiology 2011 Planner

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We're a few hours away from 2011.  Everyone is excited about the upcoming year.  To start the year right, you can buy a 2011 planner!

To those who haven't bought a 2011 planner yet, please take a look at the Sunpiology 2011 planner.  you send a child to school just by buying this!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Merry Christmas from Rarevanity

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Merry Christmas everyone! is finally functioning!

Review: MAC Matte Lipstick in Please Me

Part of my MAC haul in Duty Free was this lipstick.  I was actually torn between this and Creme Cup but Please Me won since I don't have a lot of matte lipsticks.

Mac matte lipstick in Please Me, USD17.00
available in Duty Free Philippines

when swatched

on my lips

- it's MAC!
- one of MAC's bestselling shades
- can be worn day and night
- long lasting power
- pigmented
- glides on easily on lips despite being matte

- show lines of your lips
- not available at all MAC counters

I'm really loving this lipstick because of its shade.  Although I'm not a big fan of pink, I appreciate pink lipsticks.  This lipstick can be worn day and night.  Use it during office hours with light makeup on.  Match it with smoky eyes at night!  However, I have to retouch every now and then when I use this lipstick.  Its not because the staying power is bad.  It actually lasts long. It's just that it has the tendency to go all over my lips and eventually show and emphasize the lines of my lips.  Ergo, retouch retouch.

If you like pink lipsticks, I definitely recommend this.  After all, it's one of MAC's bestselling shades.

Happy Monday!

Review: MAC Prep + Prime Beauty Balm

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And just when you thought, MAC doesn't have a BB cream.... BAM!  You see a full stash of it!  At least that's what I saw at DFS (Duty Free Shopping) Hong Kong.

During one of my recent trips to Hong Kong, I saw this product at the MAC counter.  It was hard to believe at first because:
1. I haven't seen this at MAC's Official Website
2. I haven't seen this at beauty blogs yet
3. It's not available at Faces or other MAC counters not inside DFS

MAC Beauty Balm, HKD245
available at DFS all over Asia

BB at the back of my palm
notice the freckles please

blended all over; most in the center

Honestly, I'm still confused about this product.  The salesladies at DFS couldn't explain this product well.  All they said was that this product is only available at DFS and was only released in Asia.  It's not exactly an LE product.  It will depend how much sales it will make for MAC before they decide.

The saleslady said that this product is just like the usual Prep+Prime only this one has SPF35.  But as fas as I know there is a Prep+Prime that has SPF as well.  Since I couldn't rely on the saleslady, I thought that maybe this is the BB cream of MAC.  After all, there are two big Bs.  But when I checked the box, instructions say, "use after moisturizing.."  Correct me if I'm wrong but BB creams are like tinted moisturizers, right?

Anyway, on to the review.

- it's MAC!
- easy to blend
- covers blemishes. freckles, or whathaveyou
- a little goes a long way
- doesn't have a weird scent
- nice packaging

- pretty expensive (about Php1,300++ equivalent, it's MAC. What did I expect?)
- not available at all MAC counters
- comes in only one shade (lighter than light)

This is actually the first product of MAC that I ain't entirely happy about.  Yes, I love how it makes my face flawless BUT I hate how it makes my face whiter than usual.  It doesn't look that natural on me to think that the foundation I use to top this is a shade close to NC40-42.  I use Neutrogena's mineral foundation.  Or perhaps it doesn't go well with a foundation that isn't MAC.  I would have to wait until next month until I get a hold of a new MAC foundation.

This product is so-so for me.  I'm keeping this and probably continue using this because it's MAC.  I'm still not sure if I will re-purchase this once I finish this one.  I'll use this together with a MAC foundation and see if it works.  Then maybe I'll review it again.  But for now, I can say it's okay to skip this product.

MAC at Duty Free Philippines

I was finally able to visit MAC counter at Duty Free!

Prices are cheaper compared to Rustan's and Marrionaud.  I also got an additional 10% discount for being a Duty Free Elite Club member.  If you spend USD300.00 and up, you get a 20% discount.

Pro Longwear Lipcreme in Love Forever, USD20.00
MAC Matte Lipstick in Please Me, USD17.00
MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer NC30, USD17.00
MAC Paintpot in Soft Ochre, USD20.00

Total damage was only USD66.60 - not bad!

Will review these items soon!

Review: Maybelline Clear Smooth Minerals BB Cream

Since my Etude House BB cream is almost empty (or at least it feels empty), I decided to buy Maybelline's BB cream because of its price.  It's only Php249.00!

Maybelline BB cream, Php249.00
available at leading department stores

BB cream on the back of my palm

BB cream spread around the back of my palm

This BB cream lives up to its promises.  It's not drying.  It moisturizes and it can hide some of the blemishes.  Like most BB creams out there, this one comes in only one shade (light).  However, this is lighter than my Etude House BB cream.  This is capable of giving you a slightly white cast and I hate it.  I used this BB cream together with my Maybelline Clear Smooth Minerals Foundation for one straight week.  I received compliments that my skin looks flawless.  But then again, I can't say for sure that it was because of Maybelline's BB cream.  Everytime I'm using Maybelline's Clear Smooth Minerals line, I always received compliments.

For those who are in a budget and would like to try BB cream, I would definitely recommend this product as this is the cheapest BB cream I've seen so far.  For those that don't want to look too made up, just remember to use a foundation a shade darker than your skin tone because this lightens your skin like whoa.  I don't recommend this to people whose skin is medium/dark shade.

I'm still undecided if I will buy this product again.  I'll finish my three BB creams first and see which of them works best for me!

Aldo Haul

More wegde shoes for me! Yay!


two beggar bags

The best thing about these purchases is the fact that I only spent USD105.00 (including shipping fee)!!

I love Aldo!

Tresemme Shampoo

Does anyone know if this is available in Manila?

I got 3 sets of this sachet and Revlon nail cutter for free at Watson's Hong Kong for buying a Revlon DIY hair dye.  I tried the sachet today and I like it!

Gotta find this!  Although my heart still belongs to Pureology =)

Take a Break, Jot it Down.

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Happy December 1st!

Don't forget to put your (Starbucks) planner to good use!  Write one memorable thing that happens to you everyday!

Charm Pro Brush Set

It was love at first sight.

Charm Pro 21-piece brush set
Charm kabuki brush with pouch (free)

The moment I saw this set at Beauty & Minerals, I knew I needed to have it.  I told myself that it would be one of my Christmas gifts to myself.  I know I already have a lot of brushes but most of them are for personal use.  I hate it when I do other people's makeup and I end up using some of my personal brushes (special mention to my MAC 226).  I have this 16-piece brush set that I try so hard to limit myself with those brushes when I'm doing other people's makeup.  It's always a failure because half of the brushes in that set are not really useful.

Before, I was torn between two different brands of professional brush sets (and I'd  rather not mention those brands).  Take note, I've been deciding about it for a year now.  The reason why I took this long to purchase a really professional brush set is because of the included brushes that have no use.  Maybe it's a bit harsh.  Of course those brushes have use like - to fill out the missing gap on the brush roll and to make the brush set look affordable (come on, 28 or 30 pieces for php3200-4500 range, not bad right?).  I just didn't wanna buy another brush set and use only 5 out of 30 brushes.  Now, that is a waste of money.  So, for the longest time, it was either I bought individual brushes or use my personal brushes.  But the wait is over and I no longer have to share my personal brushes.

Charm Pro brush set really win over those other brush sets out there because the brushes included in the set are all useful.  I mean all!  The brushes have different usage unlike other brush sets that include 2-3 identical brushes.  This is the first brush set I've seen that comes with a bent eyeliner brush and mini fan brush, too!

So, if you are on the lookout of buying a brush set, I definitely recommend this!  You won't regret buying this set!

For review of this brush set, you can visit Nikki and/or Shen.  I decided not to give a review about this brush set because all the things I have to say have already been said by the two ladies =)

Fab Hair Courtesy of L'oreal

Last October, I complained about a certain salon damaging my hair when I had it dyed.  A few days after I posted that entry, I was approached by L'oreal's Customer Service manager, Valerie Sotto.  It was very nice of her to contact me and meet up with me to find out what happened.  We had early dinner at Cibo, Greenbelt 5 and she brought her colleagues who could help me fix my hair.  I met Cristy Billones (L'oreal's education manager) and another lady (sorry, I forgot her name).  We set up an appointment to meet again so Cristy could dye my hair.

Come October 15, I went to L'oreal's office in Ortigas to have my hair fixed.

at L'oreal Academy before getting my hair fixed

at L'oreal Academy

at L'oreal Academy

Cristy is one that trains a lot of hair stylists.  Valerie was emphasizing how much of an honor it is that my hair dye will be done by Cristy.  It felt nice knowing that I (my hair actually) was in good hands.  Cristy explained what she'd put on my hair.  If I remember it correctly, she used tone-on-tone.  It's like cellophane but it's permanent.  Unlike the usual dye that lightens hair, tone-on-tone evens out the hair.  And that was what we were trying to achieve since the top of my hair was very light.

Cristy also gave my hair a treatment.  I just don't remember what it's called.  But she used Pureology.  I wasn't able to take a photo after she washed and blow-dried my hair but trust me, it was back to normal.  I love it!  I was so happy how my hair turned out that I forgot to take a photo of my new hair.

But to give justice to this entry, here's a photo of my hair (this is the latest photo I have of myself):

my bangs are brown

The photo above is way better then the photo below, right?

it was copper/orange before Cristy fixed my hair

They also gave me Pureology shampoo and conditioner for maintenance.  Honestly, it's so generous of L'oreal to extend their services this much.  I've been using Pureology for a month now and I seriously love it!  My hair feel so different!  I will post a different entry for that =)

Review: Etude House BB Magic Cream (Moisturizing)

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BB cream has been the talk of the town since last year or maybe even more than that.  It's very popular because of what it promises and maybe because anything Korean is so in nowadays.

I've been wanting to try BB cream since I've started tumbling about beauty blogs raving about this product.  What hindered me from joining the bandwagon asap was the price.  Come on, when BB cream first came out, they retailed over Php1,000.00.  So, I waited and waited and waited.

Last July, I bought a BB cream from Etude House.  It was a lucky visit because they had stock then.  They always run out of stock for BB cream because it's their best seller.  I got the moisturizing one.  1) it's a Korean brand; 2) price is less than Php600; 3) comes in different variants (moisturizing, with SPF, etc).

Etude House BB Magic Cream

BB cream on the back of my palm
(notice the freckles)

applied and blended all over
(freckles gone)

So, it is true.  BB cream really does have a way of making your face look flawless!  I may not have swatched it on my face but my face does not have freckles (yet) and it evens out my facial skin, lightens dark spots and lessens redness (if there's any).  Another thing that I like about this product is that it doesn't give much of a white cast when applied to your face.  Of course, your face lightens a bit because this BB cream comes in one shade only (light).  But you can make your face and neck even by using a slighty darker powder or put makeup on your neck as well.  I also didn't breakout while using this product.  However, I don't think it prevented nor healed my zits when I had them.  The packaging is nice because of the pump which is annoying at the same time because the pump acts up most of the time.  There are instances when I have to pump about three times because the cream comes out.  It's a turn off because it makes me think that it's not as full as it's supposed to be.

Overall, this BB cream is okay.  It's too soon to say if this is HG material for me already.  A few more BB creams to try before I find out.

Review: Myra-E Daily Sun Protect Facial Moisturizer

After finishing Pond's moisturizer and Stila's hydrating primer, I told myself that I had to try a different brand.  I guess I got tired switching between those two brands.  However, I couldn't decide what brand to try.  I use bb cream (currently using 3 brands) and I always thought it also serves as a moisturizer.  I was dumbfounded when I was looking at the box and it said from the instructions, "apply after moisturizer."  So I panicked and bought a moisturizer.

But as I have said, I didn't know what brand to buy so when I saw Myra-e beside Pond's, I grabbed one.

Myra-e moisturizer with SPF15, Php104.75

- has SPF
- nice scent
- doesn't give that uber sticky feeling after application
- disappears on your face once applied
- doesn't give a white cast on face
- has that cool effect during application
- very affordable
- available locally - everywhere
- no breakout

- none!

I really am liking this product so far.  The most important thing I like about this moisturizer is that fact that I am not breaking out. I already like this better than Pond's moisturizer.  I breakout with almost all of their products except for their facial foam (the black one).  For Php104.75, I think it's worth a try.

Any other suggestion for a moisturizer?

Review: Revlon Brow Fantasy

I've always disliked my eyebrows.  They are miserably shaped.  When my makeup addiction started, eyebrows were the last thing I learned.  I thought that I would never make my brows even/twins not even sisters.  Well, I still can't.  But trust me, I've improved a lot compared three years ago.

I finally finished my E.L.F. brow kit.  I couldn't decide whether I should get another kit or try a different brand.  Honestly, eyebrow kit is probably one thing that I would never really spend on.  But I've been seeing a lot of good reviews about Revlon's Brow Fantasy.  So, I thought I'd give it a try.

Revlon Brow Fantasy in Brunette, Php575.00

Step 1: use brow pencil

Step 2: use gel

Brunette on my brows
taken after 8 hours

- long lasting power (I didn't even retouch the whole day)
- easy to use
- easy to blend
- looks natural when applied
- available at leading dept stores
- comes in two shades

- kind of expensive at Php575

I am loving this product so far!  Although I still need more practice to make my brows even.  I just hope that this will last for a year until I finish it because I still find it a tad expensive.

How about you? Have you tried this product?

OOTD: Pea Coat at Work

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Ever since I came back from Hong Kong, I've been searching for a smart casual blazer/jacket/coat.  I actually have a lot of those already even my mom swears on all of them sometimes because they take too much space in my closet.  Most of all, I don't wear them all the time.  We're in Manila where the weather is always hot.  My trench coats and pea coats are too thick to even wear at work.  I've had them since high school and they're really winter clothes (not for fashion purposes).  I have about 5 blazers for corporate attire and trust me, they are limited to that get up.  Then I have two casual blazers from BKK that seem to meh for me lately.  I haven't worn those two for several months now.  I realised it wasn't the fit that I really wanted or the look I was trying to achieve.

When I went to Forever 21 last Tuesday, I chanced upon this coat:

My outfit yesterday to work.
Forever 21 Pea Coat, Php1,155.00
blouse and skirt: Zara

I love this pea coat!  Good quality.  There's lining inside.  It comes with a belt which is a plus!  It's not too thick but thick enough to keep you warm.  When I saw this at Forever 21, I didn't think twice about buying it.  I knew I just had to have this!  I just remembered that I bought one at Ilaya about a month ago that looks similar to this.  It's beige though and has a twist on the style.  All the more that I wanted to buy the black one at Forever 21! I'll take a photo of my Ilaya pea coat next time for my next OOTD.  I love this pea coat because I can wear this to work and I can also wear this with casual clothes.  I can already imagine myself wearing this on my next trip back to HK next week!

This purchase from Forever 21 is yet again love!  I'm happy with this purchase although I might still buy a casual blazer if I see one that will fit perfectly on me!

On a different note, I finally got my 2011 Starbucks planner last night! Yay!

Forever 21 Haul

I've been going to Forever 21 alot lately.  And I know that I said that I'm not a huge fan of Forever 21 but lately, I just can't help buying stuff.  Seriously.  Retail therapy at its finest.

I never leave the store without purchasing anything.  I was feeling really down last week because my parents went back to the US.  I felt all alone in the house so I decided to go to Forever 21.  I also thought of buying the same necklace I lost at H&M.  However, when I got there, I couldn't find it so I settled for a different necklace with the same vintage feel.

My Forever 21 haul on 6 November 2010.

dress, Php695.00
vintage necklace, Php305.00
beige pumps, Php1,105.00

I decided to take a photo of me trying it on again haha!

I love this haul but of course!  I just don't know when I will wear the dress because I can't wear it to work.  Haha!  The dress has a lot of colors to choose from.  I really think the dress is a good buy.  Elegant look for the price of Php695!  Nice dress for any event or party.  The pumps also has a lot of colors to choose from - black, gray, blue, and purple.  I'm thinking of getting purple and blue also but I have to control my being impulsive.  Tsk tsk.  The vintage necklace is long.  I just pulled it up so that it's more visible in the picture.

I'll be back with more hauls =D

Review: MAC Amplified Lipstick in Heartless of Venomous Villains Collection

We all know know that the Venomous Villains collection was a huge success.  As I've heard, it was sold out on its first day in Manila because everything was, well, reserved already.  Good thing this collection was released earlier in Hong Kong and I was able to get a hold of the items.  This collection is priced higher than other collections though.  I wonder why.

Heartless is part of Cruella De Ville's set.

MAC Amplified Lipstick in Heartless
HKD140.00 (PHP840.00)

swatched on my hand

- it's MAC!
- it's amplified creme! Ergo, it glides on your lips smoothly.
- unique lip tube design
- doesn't make teeth look garish
- long lasting power
- pigmented

- it's limited edition :(

IMO, this is the best lipstick in this collection - way on top of Toxic Tale.  Everyone was raving about Toxic Tale.  It's a nice shade, no doubt.  Even I have that lipstick.  But heartless is just LOVE!  I'm liking this way better than Ruby Woo and Ruby Red.  Also, this lipstick doesn't dry my lips because its formula is in amplified creme.  Like Toxic Tale and any other bright red lipsticks, this brightens/enlightens our face in an instant.

This lipstick is always in my bag.  Lately, I haven't been wearing heavy makeup to work.  It's just usually eyeliner and lipstick - and yes, this is the lipstick that I wear.  It's a wearable shade, trust me.  One glide and you're good to go!

OOTD: of Movie Marathon and Bazaar

Today was a fun day!

Manny Pacquiao won!  I'm not exactly a fan but he's such a very good boxer - it's even an understatement.  He's the best!

Girl bonding.  I haven't had this in a while!

13th month pay means shopping, shopping, shopping!

dress: Just G
shorts: Zara (not shown)
shoes: Aldo

Well, I'll be blogging more about this day on my (more) personal blog!

Happy Sunday!

OOTD: Dress Like a Local (HK)

top: loose shirt from HK
shorts: Zara
bag: Mango
Shoes: Basic HK

I was finally able to wear those wedges! Love, love, love!  It's comfortable, too!  At night, I wore ballet tights under the shorts because it got cold haha!

Food Escapade at Blugre Coffee

On my trip to Davao, I made sure that I wouldn't leave that city without trying Blugre Coffee.

Blugre Coffee is a Davao-based coffee shop.  I believe it is quite famous there most especially because they offer Durian coffee.  Definitely a must-try.  I mean, not all coffee shops offer Durian coffee!

Blugre Coffee at Landco Tower, Bajada, Davao City

From the outside, it already looks impressive.  Yes, it does give that Starbucks look-alike feel.  But I guess, that's what makes it enticing - at least for me.  When I got inside, I seriously said, "wow.."

Blugre Coffee's counter
Starbucks look-alike much?

One of the walls inside the coffee shop.
Cute isn't it?

On the way up to the second floor

Mocha Frappucino
Durian Coffee
Blueberry cheesecake

Their cups are also Christmas-inspired.  They also have a journal/planner although you have to buy it for around Php200++ (if I remember correctly).  Honestly, it's a nice journal.  I just didn't get one.  I wanted to buy a mug for remembrance purposes but I totally forgot about it when we transferred on the table outside!

So, you might want to know how the Durian coffee was, yeh?  It smelled weird compared to the usual smell of coffee.  It tasted differently, too.  It's still coffee with fruit flavor.  I guess my mistake was that I drank it too slowly that the coffee already turned cold and the Durian flavor got stronger.  And I don't know, my coffee started to build up sebo-like particles.  But hey, at least I got to try it.  If ever you go to Davao though, I would still recommend that you try their Durian coffee.  You might like it!

Me with my Durian coffee

Happy Sunday ladies!