Thursday, November 12, 2015

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream + Photo Set Pressed Powder

I visited the Beauty Bar looking for lightweight and natural every day make up to switch to. The shop's beauty consultant recommended these two (2) products: Smashbox's Camera Ready BB Cream (PhP2,200.00) and Photo Set Pressed Powder, which I both purchased in the shade Light.

The Camera Ready BB Cream is exactly what I asked for. It is lightweight, has light to medium coverage, has great texture that's easy to apply and blend. moisturizing and looks very much like my real skin. A little of this product is enough to cover the mild redness I have around my nose and even out my skin tone.

I LOVED it!!! For the first couple of weeks anyway. After the honeymoon phase, I noticed that it made my t-zone oily after about 3 hours. During the first couple of hours, I'd have beautiful dewy skin. After 3rd hour, my t-zone would be too dewy to the point of looking oily.

I have combination skin, but I never had issues with oil control with my other BB creams or foundations. A layer of dusting powder and the Photo Set Pressed Powder does not help keep the oil at bay :( I wouldn't recommend this for ladies who are looking for some serious oil control power in their makeup.

The Photo Set Pressed Powder has a beautiful formulation- very fine, feels silky on my face and glides on smoothly. However, I don't feel that it does a lot to help control oil (due to the Camera Ready BB Cream *sigh*) and is FAR from being matte. I feel that the powder only sits on my face, without really blending into my skin. 

It does photograph beautifully, though. No chalky white cast. 

Overall, I'd recommend these products for the dry-skinned. 
While they are not ideal for my combination skin, the formulation didn't cause me any break outs, didn't crease or settle into my fine lines and don't have obnoxious smell. It's a shame these didn't work well on me since Smashbox's formulation for these two are awesome (and because these were not cheap!).

Even though the BB cream makes my t-zone look oily, I feel like I can learn to love it more than the pressed powder. I simply LOVE how the BB cream looks and feels on my face! During the first couple of hours after application anyway :p
On the other hand, the pressed powder only feels nice against my skin, but sadly, does not do anything to even wow me a little bit.

Fast Food Coffee Rater

Who doesn't love a good cup of joe?
As a coffee-fueled working girl who used to be a coffee-fueled post-grad student, I'm a constant customer, and at times, camper, at coffee shops. From the mainstream international coffee chains Starbucks and Coffee Bean &Tea Leaf, to the third wave coffee shops like Toby's Estate.
While Starbucks is most definitely everywhere, I sometimes try to mix it up a bit and go for the less expensive and more convenient brews. 
Just thought I'd do a quick run down of some of your friendly fast food / convenient store coffees below a hundred bucks! :)

1. KFC a.m. Premium Coffee
Price: PhP30
Serving Suggestion: 1 packet of sugar and creamer
Boldness: 3/5
Sweetness: 2.5/5
Strength: 3/5 medium

Slightly sweet roasted flavor with a hint of nuttiness. Slightly acidic.
I like this because it's a slightly sweeter brewed coffee, with medium strength.

2. McDonald's Roast Coffee
Price: PhP25
Serving suggestion: 1 packet of sugar, 2 of creamer
Boldness: 1.5/5
Sweetness: 1/5
Strength: 3.5/5

Tastes very bland and watery (although I just might have been served from a bad pot), but surprisingly strong. I use 2 packets of creamer for this because I feel that the creamer helps bring out the flavor. I feel the kick almost immediately and even before I finish my cup. It does not have the boldest flavors or most distinguished notes, but if you're looking for something to kick start your morning, this works.

3. Jollibee Premium Brew
Price: PhP31
Serving Suggestion: 1 packet of sugar, 2 of creamer
Boldness: 2/5
Sweetness: 1/5
Strength: 4/5

Pretty strong at my usual 1 packet of sugar and creamer. Good brew with a slightly robust kick in the end.
I appreciate that they have a tiny tape to cover the small opening on the lid of the coffee cup to prevent the brew from getting cold. Good job, Jollibee.

4. Dunkin Donuts Original Brew
Price: a medium cup is PhP35, while a large one is at PhP45

Very watered down.  No distinct smell or taste.  Lousy packaging too. Their cup is incredibly cheap and flimsy.

5. 711 Americano
Very watered down. I will probably give it another go just to check if they really serve bland coffee, or if I just got  served from a bad brew that one time.

6. 711 Brewed Coffee
Price: PhP29 for a medium cup
Serving Suggestion: 1 packet of  sugar, 1 of creamer
Boldness: 1.5/5
Strength: 2/5

At 2 packets of cream, flavor is almost zero. No sexy aroma too.

Friday, April 3, 2015

TheBalm Blushes

I've only recently come to terms with how I should have more powder blushes instead of always just reaching for my favorite blushes in my favorite formulation-- mousse.

Enter, TheBalm with their pigmented blushes in super cute, vintage packaging!


 Fratboy, from TheBalm's Boy blush line, is a peach-pink color that gives a natural and healthy-looking flush to my neutral-warm skin tone. It's not quite pink, not quite orange. Just a very wearable cross between the two colors. I can even wear this blush with a pink shade of lipstick!
A little goes a long way with this product because of its excellent pigmentation. Easy to blend out and build up.


Cabana Boy is a beautiful deep plum. It's like the blush counterpart of Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Lipstain in Smitten. I love wearing this color on dark/damp days or when I'm going for a more mature look. This is even more pigmented than Fratboy so definitely apply with a light hand.


Toile, from the Instain blush line, is a strawberry pink color that gives a youthful flush. It has a LOT of red in it, so be careful. Apply sparingly to get a natural blush.

Emphasis on the word 'sparingly' because this is very pigmented and a bit difficult to blend out because, true to its name, it tends to "stain" your cheeks. Instead of loading up your brush with the product, a light swipe across the pan will do the trick. It's always easier to start light then build up on the color until you get the color intensity you're going for.

TheBalm blushes come in sturdy cardboard boxes that close magnetically and with a mirror on the lid. Pretty and practical little packaging.

The Instain colors excite me! But I prefer the formulation of The Boy blush line because they're easier to blend out despite the heavy pigmentation. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Canmake Brown Eyeliner (Sweet Angelic Brown)

I picked this up on a whim when I passed by the Canmake store in Glorietta 2.  I'm not familiar with this Japanese brand at all, although I've heard of it, so I had no idea which of their products are worth trying. 

I tried this Brown Eyeliner in Sweet Angelic Brown (the only shade there is) upon recommendation of the store staff. To be honest, I didn't like how the felt tip looked like-- too thick for my eyeliner application preference. But the staff told me this is one of their bestsellers, so I gave it a go. 
The color is very pretty. It gives a solid warm brown color that's almost reddish brown. Stays put, doesn't smudge, but can be easily removed by makeup remover. 
I'm really not a fan of the thick felt-tip pen. The thick tip draws thick lines, which makes for a less-than-natural look.

Also this product dries up pretty fast (about a month or so after first opening. It only makes that beautiful solid line when it's brand new. After about a month, it just makes this uneven line that's solid on some areas and very light on some. It's frustrating and time consuming to have to try to fill in the areas where the pen delivered very little color.

Will I repurchase?
No. There are a lot of eyeliners that can deliver a similar reddish brown color, which in my opinion, is the only great thing about this product.

Overall rating:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Beautiful Hong Kong

I love this city-state! Nice people, good food, and there's so many things to do! Here are some photos from a trip earlier this year:

1. Ngong Ping Village on Lantau Island
Boy friend and I went up Lantau Park via a long cable car ride (we got an entire cabin to ourselves too!) from Tung Chung Terminal to see the village and hiking trails leading up to a big bronze statue of Tian Tan Buddha. It was such a nice and peaceful escape from the busy city.

2. Disneyland Hong Kong
I love theme parks and I love Disney so this was definitely a very happy place for me! Anyone who grew up watching Disney movies will LOVE it here.

3. All Over The City
There were so many good things to eat-- from street food to market stalls to restaurants! A couple of days were spent eating and walking to the next food stop to eat some more. It was a gastronomic cycle!