Thursday, March 28, 2013

All Used Up: Lush, Krave, Celeteque, Kiehl's, etc.

Hello, ladies! Since becoming a product junkie, finishing up something has been something of an accomplishment. I've been wanting to start this series for some time now, but somehow, I always forget to save my empties. Or I do, then someone goes into my bedroom and starts to throw them out. Empties reviews are always so useful, because too often, you can only judge whether something is really good after you've finished it all up.

I finally figured out that the best thing to do about it is to stash my empties in one of my dresser drawers. Last week, the drawer finally became too full so I took them out and got clicking. So, without much further ado, here's a mini-review of products I have recently gone through:

1. Septo-care Contact Lens Solution (P70/ 375 ml) - I'm a prescription lens wearer and I run through bottles of this stuff in a month. I used to spring more expensive brands like Sauflon or Bausche & Lombe but I realized that this works just as well. And because it's very cheap (other solutions cost about five times as much for the same amount) I don't need to scrimp at all. Definitely a repurchase.

2. Olay Oil Minimizing Toner (P299/ 212 ml) - I ran out of Etude House Amalgem toner and I grabbed this in a hurry from the grocery shelf. It stings my eyes when I swipe near the area plus I ended up with so much product wasted because the mouth of the bottle doesn't have any stopper-- it's just one big opening once you twist off the cap. Not repurchasing.

3. Dove Essential Nourishment Body Lotion for Dry Skin (P250 ml) - It was a run-of-the-mill body lotion as far as I was concerned. It claims to provide 24h moisture to the skin but I didn't notice anything special. Not repurchasing.

4. Lush Snow Fairy Limited Edition Shower Gel  (P450/ 250 ml) - As I said in my post about my Lush Holiday Haul last January (click this link), Snow Fairy is one of my favorites. It smells like candy and it's pink, so.... But I have to be honest and admit that it's really more about the scent than any skin benefits. It's pretty much just a great shower gel, but it only smells good in the shower and I find that the scent is easily overpowered by any lotion. It does double as a fairly decent shampoo; in fact, son is now using my 500 ml back up bottle for hair washing.

Not included in the picture but which I also want to mention is the Lush Snowcake soap. (Obviously, I don't have empties for that.) It smells good and lasts fairly long if you cut it up and keep it as dry as possible when not using it. Again, the kiddo ended up using it and it made him smell like vanilla cupcakes, which made hugs extra sweet. Will definitely repurchase both Snow Fairy and Snowcake the next time they come around.

5. Garnier Light Complete Multi-action Whitening Cream (P199/ 40 ml) - I started using this when my skin began to need more moisture but I didn't want to use 'real' moisturizers yet. I think I ran through four or five tubes of this. It does provide moisture but not the intensive kind. What I loved most about it was that it gave your skin a powdery finish right after application. As for whitening, I didn't really notice any effects because I didn't apply regularly. Not repurchasing anymore though.

6. FCUK Her perfume (30 ml) - It was a somewhat non-girly scent that had a hint of sexy. Sorry, but I'm not really that great at describing perfumes because I believe it's such a subjective product. This perfume got finished simply because I have had it so long. Not repurchasing.

7. Vitress Heat Protect Cuticle Coat (P90/ 30 ml) - I like putting this in my bag to smooth flyways when I'm out of the house. The bottle is small and the pump very convenient. Definitely repurchase.

8. Revlon Photoready Sculpting Blush Palette (P550/ 4g) - This is actually not an empty; it's got about 90% of its contents left but I'm throwing it out (not even giving it away) simply because its such crap. I ranted about it here. No way in hell am I repurchasing.

9. Bellagio Pour Femme perfume - refer to #6.

10. Celeteque Ultra-Lifting Restorative Serum (P599/ 30ml) - I got this from Sampleroom and I loved it. It felt so much like #11 bareMinerals Active Cell Renewal Night Serum (sample) which I received a with a Sephora order. Both of them are light, easily absorbed, and really makes a difference in how my skin looks and feels. Of course, the Celeteque version wins because it's locally available and less pricey. Have already repurchased and this has become a staple in my routine.

12. Olay Age Defying eye gel - this was actually not mine but my mom's. She left it behind during one of her vacations. I tried using it but I didn't really like it because it had a somewhat slimy texture and made the eye area look like you smeared snot all over it. Not a pretty picture. Obviously not repurchasing.

13. Avon Simply Pretty Jelly Belly lip balm (P120/ 4g) - one of my favorite cheapo lip balms. Not as moisturizing as my recent balm discoveries (Jack Black and Clarins!) but it does well enough when I just need something to add a bit of moisture during the day. Will repurchase whenever it goes on sale.

14. Krave Oil Eliminator and Skin Hydrator (P285/ 3g) - it's a silica finishing powder. I found that it didn't really work for me as a primer but because of its fine texture and white color, it's perfect for retouching foundation that has oxidized a bit after a few hours. Unfortunately, it's a loose powder which means that it's a bit of a hassle to bring along and use for retouches. Will probably not repurchase.

15. Kiehl's Acai Damage Correcting Moisturizer (sample) - Again, one of my Sampleroom picks and when used with the Celeteque serum, it made my skin so much better. Definitely repurchasing once I finish the other creams I have in rotation.

So there you have it, a pretty lengthy post because of all the empty stuff I've accumulated. Now off to dispose these containers...

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Benefit Bathina Take a Picture Body Balm Review and Swatches

 Let me just add my hot weather rant to yours: this humidity is killing me. It's so hard to get the motivation to get out of the house, especially when you don't really need to. Anyhow, now that skin season is here, I thought I'd share a product that might come handy to some of you: Benefit's Bathina Take a Picture it Lasts Longer Body Balm. Whew!

Simply put, it's a cream highlighter especially intended for the body. The color is fairly similar to Benefit's Girl Meets Pearl-- pink with gold shimmer. It's supposed to give your skin a luxurious sheen. Does it? Continue reading below.
Benefit Bathina (P1600/1.5 oz.) is a pretty solid balm with a cloth puff for buffing into the skin. As you can see, the tin has a charming vintage vibe. This product is not at all new, (although it has been revamped a couple of years ago) but so far, most of the reviews that I have read about this product were written by bloggers colder climates than ours. I wanted to see for myself how it would fare in humid Manila.

The back of the packaging says: 
Gorgeous legs & arms when you dare to go bare. This irresistible golden-pink balm glides on sheer, glimmering body finish. So go ahead, take a picture... it lasts longer...

To apply: For glimmering results, apply evenly with velvet puff. To accentuate the glow, buff in a circular motion.

The product has a baby lotion-y scent which is noticeable for an hour or so. If you're like me who wears perfume on a daily basis, pick a complimentary scent to avoid clashing. It does not feel heavy or sticky as long as you don't touch the areas where you put it on. But if you make the mistake of wearing it on a very humid day, it can feel uncomfortable. Today I put some on my arms but just wiped it off ten minutes later. Too bad because it looks pretty nice too.

Sorry but no pictures of what it looked like on my arms-- I was running late as it was. But here's a swatch to show you:
The circled portion shows you where Benefit Bathina was applied. Can you see the sheen?

Bare hand
Hand applied with Benefit Bathina
Can you see the difference? Note that in the bare hand photo, my arm is held horizontally so the natural light makes a sort-of 'bloom' effect. In the hand swatch, my hand gleams even though it's directly facing the lens.

A lot of reviews (including Temptalia!) complained that Bathina is just too subtle. That was my first impression too, but I realized that you really had to swipe the balm a bit more generously to see the effect. Even then, it's not full-on shine but a lit-from-within glow. It's quite beautiful and subtle; in the right light you can even fool people into thinking that you just have gorgeous skin.

But... (of course there's one) but unfortunately, the effect will only last an hour or so before you have to reapply again. Plus, there's the humidity factor. You know the feeling when you wear a very rich lotion or body butter in the summer? That's exactly what you will get. Plus it does not have any SPF.

So the pros:
  • Cute tin
  • Pretty effect
  • Easy to apply
And the cons:
  • Expensive
  • Can feel heavy for summer
  • Not long lasting
  • Scented
I would say that this is not a must-have but a nice-to-have. Before I finally got Benefit Bathina I tried to look for similar products but found none.

Do you think you're going to be getting Benefit Bathina anytime soon? Do you already have it? What do you think?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fanny Serrano Lipstick in Peri Sherry vs MAC Cosmo Review and Swatches

Not all of my lipsticks have to be worth more than a thousand bucks, you know.

I have a fairly reasonable lipstick collection. Enough to have some good selections for a variety of looks but not so extensive that I could pull various intensity of shades and finishes. This is not such a problem because I like mixing lip products to create different effects (I have an amazing combo that will let you get three popular MAC colors from just one lipstick. When I'm not so lazy I will take photos and show you. But don't hold your breath because in case you're not in on the secret yet, me not being lazy or legitimately busy occupies a very narrow window of opportunity.)

Anyhow, most of my lipsticks are from (surprise!) MAC. A couple are from Guerlain, and Revlon. And I have one from FS (Fanny Serrano) which I will share with you today. I cull my collection regularly, and as my aunts and cousins will attest, I'm ruthless about culling be it shoes or clothes or makeup. If they're not earrning their space in my closet or train case, they have to be evicted and re-placed. They always find willing homes though: I have a lot of cousins.

Anyhow, the above blather is meant to show you that this inexpensive lipstick holds its own against some great contenders in my collection:
Fanny Serrano Moisturific Lipstick in Peri Sherry (P300/4g)

I'm not sure but I think it's being touted as a dupe for MAC Twig. I don't have Twig myself but I do have MAC Cosmo and Peri Sherry is pinker than Twig so they may just be right about the dupe thing. Here's Peri Sherry and Cosmo side by side:
That's Peri Sherry on the left, Cosmo on the right. As you can see, the FS bullet is a bit thicker than the MAC one.
And here's arm swatches of the two:
MAC Cosmo below, FS Peri Sherry above
I don't really buy intentionally buy lipstick dupes myself not because I'm a snob but because I feel like I have already earned the right to some good products. You see, when makeup junkies get older, we tend to be less forgiving of products that don't perform or feel as good as they should. Plus, I think I already mentioned that I'm a WAHM and I don't get/need to wear makeup everyday. On the infrequent days that I do, I look for a good experience.

And that's what I get from this lipstick: beautiful color, great pigmentation, smooth texture, semi-glossy finish and pretty decent staying power. I would even go so far as claim that it feels like a MAC Amplified to me.

Peri Sherry

Peri Sherry
Peri Sherry arm swatch

  • not drying
  • comfortable to wear
  • great pigmentation
  • decent staying power
  • sturdy packaging
  • inexpensive
  • proudly Filipino made
  • the printing on the packaging and the bottom sticker ruins what could be an elegant look. 

You couldn't see the printing in the picture above because I turned it over but MOISTURIFIC LIPSTICK is printed right on the sides of the lipstick cap. If you look closely, you may be able to see an M right above the  cut. As for the bottom sticker, have a looksie:

Too bad, because the metallic blue packaging really got my fancy. Maybe one of these days the packaging could get a tweaking. Maybe they could just eliminate the bullet printing and refine the bottom sticker fonts to up the ante. But that's just me nitpicking.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lipstain in Darling: Review, Lip Swatches

I've been wanting to get one of these since last year when they first launched but since I was going through a MAC lipstick obsession at the same time, I just overlooked getting one. Until one day, I realized that I didn't even own a single lip stain.I'm really not so much into makeup shopping nowadays because I have so much that I won't be needing to buy anything for a couple of years but the rave reviews really drew me in. Plus, there was some Paypal balance that was just burning a hole through my (electronic) wallet and the Bon Marche shop in Multiply was offering a deal that was just too good to resist: P350 instead of the regular retail price of P575 at the local malls.

Anyhow, I ended up with the shade Darling. I wanted a lip stain that will look absolutely natural, for those occasions when lipsticks or lipgloss would be trying too hard. I also needed something that won't likely fade easily. From the many reviews online, this product was what I needed:

The product doesn't quite reach down the end of the tube but  it has a harder consistency than lipsticks so you won't wear it down as quickly.

Here it is, fully extended. Just the other day, Bea of The Dalaga Project wrote a suggestive 'chubby' post that just keeps coming back to my mind when I see the image above *insert leery smile here*.

Here are some lip swatches; I know that's why you're here. First, my boring bare lips for reference:

Then with a few layers of Darling (you really have to layer the lighter shades like Darling because this product is sheer)

Told you it's sheer. The balminess should stay on the lips for an hour or two, just like your average sheer lipstick. That is, unless you're like me who just can't leave her lipstick alone and must keeping rubbing her lips together when there's nothing better to do.

The color for me not that phenomenal.It rather reminds me of my Guerlain Rose Barbare except that the latter just looks more luxurious on the lips. However, I did say that I bought this product for the stain; after letting it sit on my lips for a few minutes, I would wipe it off to get this:

I know that there's still some left on the half of my lips. The point of the shot above is to show you that the stain left behind is really different from the color of the balm. I love the color of the stain better, but there have been some complaints about the color shifts. As for me, I'm perfectly fine with what I get, although the picture below showing my stained lips may seem to be too subtle for some. However, remember that I needed an effect that can just pass off as something I was born with and this it it:

The effect is my-lips-but-healthier. This product is lightweight and comfortable to wear and as you can see, it didn't dry my lips. Darling now permanently resides in my handbag. With swimming trips and overnight vacations, my tube of Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lipstain is going to be working earning its keep in the next few months.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Who wants to be a Sampleroom partner blogger?

Drats, drats, drats!

It's no secret to my family and friends that I love Sampleroom. I got most of them to join this awesome website for free and I regularly stalk it when I should be working :) I even blogged about it here and here. I just visited their blog and saw that this month, they are expanding their blogger's circle to include 24 more!

(You have probably already figured out by now that if you click on the images on my posts you can see them bigger.)

Unfortunately, I can't present this site even for consideration because this blog is not even a year old. Oh well. This is a pretty awesome opportunity though; and if you qualify, then lucky you. For more information, follow this link.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Kikaymom Find: Makeup City in Tsimshatsui, Hongkong

One of the reasons why I wasn't able to blog much last month was because I took a week off to fulfill one of the things I said I will do before I got too old. This:
I finally got to go to Disneyland! And even better was that I got to share the experience with a fellow Mickey Mouse die-hard, whom I lovingly (and sometimes ironically) call the Wonder Boy. And as for Hongkong, well, the place is really a haven for beauty product junkies because they have beauty shops every few steps. Everywhere you turn, there's a Sasa, or a Bonjour, or a Watson's. The distribution of these shops were so crazy, it's not unusual to find them placed right across the street from each other.
But the great find that I'm talking about is none of these, but a shop called The Makeup City right in Cameron Street, Tsimshatsui.
It's that shop with the orange signs featuring Chinese writing. Ok, so here's where I slack up as a blogger: I don't have any pictures of the shop from inside (really sorry about that, truly) but this is the go-to place for authentic designer perfumes and makeup. They stock brands like Guerlain, Armani, and almost everything that you could think of.

It's not a fancy place, but their perfume inventory is impressive. The best part? You can buy your favorite scents for as much as 50% less than retail. Let me reiterate that these are authentic, department-store quality perfumes, and no knock-offs are allowed.

Towards the back of the store, they also carry some random cosmetic items. I only discovered this on our last day there when I had already spent my shopping budget elsewhere. I'm telling you this really bummed me out because I saw limited edition MAC lippies selling for roughly the equivalent of P800; there were a couple of Guerlain Rouge G lipsticks that were tagged for only P1300.

Rouge Gs.
Selling for much less than the local price tag of P2500. You bet I was hurting.

We did get to buy some cool stuff from Makeup City though. Here's a small but pretty decent haul:

As you can see, it's mostly perfume. There are three bottles of Liz Arden Green Tea in there because it's crazy cheap in Hongkong for some reason. A 100 ml bottle is only about P650, and you know that it sells for about P1300-1500 locally. The cK one, is virtually free, because the price for that AND the Bvlgari is just equal to the local price for the latter. The hologrammed box is actually a violet-colored primer that I bought on an impulse at Bonjour, which I regretted when I found that it was heavily scented. I regretted it even more when I realized that for the same price ($168HK) I could have gotten a Guerlain lippie instead. Oh well.

See that pretty violet bottle? That's Covet Pink Bouquet by Sarah Jessica Parker, and if I'm not mistaken it's been discontinued already. Funny story about that: I don't usually go for celebrity fragrances but I just gotta have this one despite the many bottles that I still have to go through in my cabinet. I got the original Covet for a gift and I loved the scent so much that it got me curious enough to try the Pink Bouquet flanker when I saw it in Makeup City on the same day we arrived in HK. They smell different, actually. The flanker is more fruity floral than the original. I really tried to stop myself from buying it, for real. Not like the times when I say I'm not going to buy it but deep inside I knew I would anyway.

Except that whenever I was in the store (I was there like three times, on different days because I was helping buy perfume pasalubongs) I gravitated to it. I would spritz some on a paper swatch and just keep sniffing. Finally gave in (I swear I really didn't mean to) on our last day. This is the first bottle of perfume that I have ever bought; I'm lucky enough to be gifted so much perfume that I have a collection without any expense on my part so that's saying something about Pink Bouquet.

As I was telling fellow blogger Maica before the trip, I was on the lookout for some smudge-proof eye pencils that I could use for tightlining. I heard that Japanese brands were cheaper in HK, and we all know that the Japanese know what they are doing when it comes to makeup. I didn't manage to buy any though, because I was literally overwhelmed by the number of choices (and because it hurts my head to do math when I needed to convert HK dollars to pesos). I also realized that I would rather read some reviews first before buying anything. (The violet-colored primer purchase came at a moment of weakness: I was hungry, I was in a hurry, and I didn't know what I wanted to buy.)

So, if ever you're in HK looking to score some high-end makeup bargains, you now know where to look  :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...