Friday, September 30, 2011

Review: Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF30

Best Blogger Tips

Every time i go out, like in the office or in the mall, i always prefer to put on something with more than average coverage on my face. This is why i have been a die hard user of Missha Perfect Cover and Revlon Colorstay Foundation because it gives the perfect coverage that i need minus the heavy makeup feeling on my skin. On days though when i spend most of the time outdoors and it's very hot, i only put tinted moisturizer on. There's nothing worse than foundation/bb cream melting on your face on a very hot day!

I have forever been looking for the perfect tinted moisturizer. My first try was with Myra E's tinted moisturizer which ended as a total fail. I broke out so bad and it oxidized on my skin that after 2 hours of using it, i looked like i had just come out of a spray tan. My second try was with ELF's Tinted Moisturizer which was ok, it did not break me out at all. My only problem with it is that the coverage is very sheer. You can read my review here.
This tinted moisturizer was recommended to me by a friend who's only makeup routine was this, loose powder, MAC's Browset and lipgloss.



Being only a tinted moisturizer, do not ever expect this to have the same coverage as foundation. So this won't conceal blemishes on your skin. This however, manages to even out my skin tone. And as i am lucky enough to have very few minor blemishes on my skin, most of it is covered by this moisturizer alone. This moisturizer comes in 2 shades: (1) Fair-Light, and (2) Medium. I got mine in Medium and it's just the right color for my skin (I'm NC35 for reference). Below you will see a swatch of Aveeno Tinted Moisturizer in Medium. 


Wrist w/o tinted moisturizer
Wrist with Aveeno tinted moisturizer

I have been using this for 3 weeks already (on those days when i forgo putting on bb cream or foundation) and there has been no breakouts for me. Prior to purchase, i had been reading a lot of reviews online and a lot of those reviews say this irritated and broke them out. I guess the best way to judge is to personally try this product out. What i like best about this tinted moisturizer is that the coverage is pretty good - slightly better than regular tinted moisturizers, and the fact that it has SPF30. 

This tinted moisturizer also boasts of containing Total Soy Complex which promises to even out skin tone, smoothes and softens skin texture, reduce the appearance of unwanted hair, and moisturizes skin. Read more about the effects of soy on skin here. I have only been using this for 3 weeks now, on and off, so i would not be able to attest to this claim just yet. 

Who would i recommend this to? People who do not want a heavy makeup feel but want slight coverage on their face. This is great for use too on very hot and humid days when it's almost impossible to hold down foundation on your skin. 

I really liked this tinted moisturizer and would be using this until i come across an even better tinted moisturizer. Take my review with a grain of salt though as your experience might not be the same as mine.

What the Label Says

The only tinted moisturizer with clinically proven total soy complex to brighten and even skin tone while providing SPF 30 sun protection. Natural, light-reflecting minerals and lightweight coverage blend away imperfections and immediately bring out skin's natural radiance.

These luminous formulas with natural minerals give you sheer coverage instantly.  With scientifically proven total soy complex, they do even more...evening skin discolorations and smoothing texture.  Now, a naturally flawless finish lets your natural radiance shine through. 

With clinically proven total soy complex and natural light-reflecting minerals.
Oil-Free
Hypoallergenic
Non-comedogenic

Net WT. 
2.5 fl oz (75 ml) 

Price:
$ 14.99 at drugstore.com
Not available locally

The Good
- has SPF 30 UVA/UVB protection
- has great coverage for a tinted moisturizer and evens out skintone
- not greasy and sticky 
- feels light on the skin
- great alternative to foundation during very hot & humid weather. just set with finishing powder and you're good to go

The Bad
- has a perfumy smell that bothers me, but quickly goes away
- does not last very long, abo
- not available locally


Final Verdict
I am currently loving this and would not change to another tinted moisturizer until i find a better one. 



Photobucket






Sunday, September 25, 2011

Food: My First Ever Attempt at Baking

Best Blogger Tips

I am happy to say i was successfully able to bake my first ever batch of brownies! Well ok, so i had a little help from Betty Crocker but 90% of the effort was really all me. haha. 

Everybody knows i looove to cook. Hubby thinks i make the meanest adobo, spicy prawns, lasagna and kaldereta. I cook more by taste than by measurement. This is why if you ask me for recipes, i would most probably only give you a rundown of the different ingredients used, without the measurements. It is because of this inability to follow accurate measurements that I DON'T, and am not able to bake. 

It is that time of the month again when i get all hormonal and start craving for sweets, to the point where i even dream about it. Just yesterday, during my afternoon nap, I dreamt i was being chased by cupcakes. So today, when the cravings started kicking in again, i was frantically looking for something sweet to eat or cook all over the house. I was really craving for cupcakes (from the dream i had last night), but this was something i could not have immediately, and i wanted something, anything, sweet ASAP. 

I was already bent on making Caramelized Plantains with Vanilla, or more locally known as Minatamis na Saging... I just wanted to give the name of the dish a bit more flair (an after effect of watching too much Master Chef). So again, i was already bent on making minatamis na saging and as i was scouring our pantry for vanilla essence, there it was, in all its glory, a box of Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie mix. 





I don't recall me or hubby buying this so just to make it sure it wasn't bought 4 years ago and is probably already expired, i made sure to double check on the expiration date. Thankfully, the mix won't expire until December 2011. Perfect! Except that i don't bake.... The instruction at the back of the box was pretty straight forward and seemed easy to do though: 



I figured, if i am able to successfully make lasagna, this would be a breeze to do. Besides, the instruction simply said, Heat, Stir and Bake! Because i am terrible at following exact measurements, i did not even attempt to do so with these brownies, this is apart from the fact that i do not own any piece of measuring tool in my kitchen. Unbelievable? Believe it. So again, i went with gut feel and just estimated how 1/4 or 2/3 of a cup would look like. I know this is a cardinal sin in baking but who would mind really? My stomach sure wont. I was not able to take a picture of the brownie mixture after i stirred all the ingredients together because i just got so psyched with the possibility of my first baking attempt being a success. Was it? You be the judge... 







Betty Crocker is a miracle from heaven! The brownies came out really chewy and very very chocolaty! Yum! A definite sweet fix for my cravings. A box of this mix is really cheap, only about P150++ And it's SUPER easy to do, i can probably make this again blindfolded!

Will i repurchase? Definitely YES! Will this make me reconsider baking? Definitely NO. I'll stick to pre-packaged mixes, thank you. This is only what my very limited skills at baking would allow me to do. 


So my first attempt at baking? A definite success! I sure deserve brownie points for this....


Enjoy the rest of your Sunday evening loves!








Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: EOS Lipbalm

Best Blogger Tips

This is VERY delayed review of EOS lipbalms ever since these cute little lipbalm spheres became popular about 2 years ago. I did not instantly jump on the bandwagon and hoarded on them as i was already very happy with my all time favorite lipbalm, Burt's Bees. 


These cute little spheres became the talk of the blog world and makeup fans. More so because celebrities were such big fans of these balms. 






 
I bought my first ever EOS lipbalm only a month ago, during my recent drugstore.com haul, just in time also as i was already running out of my Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. I got mine in Sweet Mint. 


I had very high hopes towards this little balm. I mean, there could really be something amazing about this product for it to cause such a big buzz.  This is what their site says about these spheres: 

eos lip balm is 95% organic, 100% natural, and paraben and petrolatum free. Packed with antioxidant-rich vitamin E, soothing shea butter and jojoba oil, eos keeps your lips moist, soft and sensationally smooth.
  • Long-lasting moisture
  • Shea butter & vitamin E
  • Smoothes on clear
  • New smooth sphere precisely glides on to lips
  • Twist-off top
  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Petrolatum-free
  • Phthalate-free

After a week of using this, here's my honest opinion: 

eos lip balms does what it promises to do. it does a good job of moisturizing your lips, just as what all lip balms should do. however, i do not see anything else amazing that sets this lipbalm apart from all the other lipbalms. I mean brownie points for it being organic and natural but there are also numerous organic and natural lip balms out there, including Burt's Bees. It tastes good and smells good but there are also other lip balms that smell and taste good. I personally prefer lip balms with a strong minty smell, the kind that gives that "minty tingle" on your lips. Although eos do give your lips a slight minty tingle, i still prefer Burt's Bees strong minty tingle on my lips. But this is just a personal preference though. I know other girls dislike a strong minty flavor and the tingle on their lips.

What sets this apart from all the other lip balms though is its cute spherical packaging. They're just so cute and fun to carry around! The packaging also comes in different fun colors so you can choose whatever suits your mood for that day. 

Will i repurchase? Hmmm.. maybe. I still plan though on buying another small tub of Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm because i think my lips are really used to its minty feel.

Will i recommend this? I don't have high praises for this but yes, out of curiosity, you may want to give this a try


Price:
 P 250.00 at local resellers

Flavors:
 - Summer Fruit
- Lemon Drop SPF 15
- Strawberry Sorbet
- Honeysuckle Honeydew
- Medicated Tangerine
- Sweet Mint

The Good
- smells and tastes great
- easy to use
- comes in a cute packaging
- soothing
- moisturizes well
The Bad
- slightly pricey for a lip balm
- not too minty for my liking

Final Verdict
A great lipbalm but nothing amazing about this product. 
I still prefer Burt's Bees over this.










Monday, September 19, 2011

Review: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss - Nude Lustre & Coral Reef

Best Blogger Tips

This review is one of the many reviews still left pending in my book. As you may recall, i had a major drugstore.com haul last August and i have reviewed only 1 product yet from that haul (Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque). I have been very busy with work and friends lately that i did not have enough time this week to do a product review. 

Anyhow, here's a review of one of my favorite glosses. I'm not really a lipgloss person as much as i am a blush and lipstick girl. Lipglosses have very poor staying power and i almost always prefer matte lipstick for everyday wear. On those occasions though when i do decide to wear a lipgloss, Revlon's lipgloss is almost always what i reach for. 


The consistency and overall formula is comparable that of MAC's lipglass, albeit MAC's lipglass is more sticky. I prefer this over MAC's Lipglass because i cannot stand very sticky glosses. This is slightly less sticky than MAC's Lipglass which would also mean that its staying power is less than that of MAC's. The "stickier" the lipgloss, the longer its lasting power. But i don't realy mind the staying power (about 2-3 hrs) as i can always retouch anytime i want to. Here are swatches of the colors on my wrist:

L-R (W/ Flash): Nude Lustre, Coral Reef
L-R (W/o Flash): Nude Lustre, Coral Reef

Nude Lustre  is the prettiest nude gloss i have in my stash. I normally cannot rock nude glosses and lipsticks as they tend to wash me out, but this nude gloss is definitely an exception! This a very pretty peach nude gloss that you can wear alone or pair with a nude lipstick. I wear this on top of Revlon Colorburst in Soft Nude to warm the color up a bit and its pretty pretty! It has a bit of shimmer on the gloss but it's not noticeable on the lips. 


Coral Reef is a pretty true coral-orange color. I have been into a lot of coral lipstick lately as i found out it goes very well with my NC35 (Olive undertones) skin. If you're looking for a pretty coral lipgloss, you should definitely give this a try! 





What the Label Says

Silky...Sexy..Brilliant
Glossy formula combines sheer color and intense moisture with light-reflecting spheres to create amazing shine.

Net WT. 
0.2 fl oz (5.9 ml) 

Price:
$ 5.59 at drugstore.com 
P 500+ at local Revlon counters

The Good
- has SPF 15
- doe foot applicator makes application easy and even
- the packaging is so sleek!
- not too sticky
- gives just the right glossy finish
- sheer, but highly pigmented compared to other glosses
- comes in a wide variety of colors

The Bad
- has a slight scent to it that may bother some people
- lasting power is average, about 2-3 hrs... but is there any lipgloss with excellent lasting power? 
- slightly expensive for a drugstore brand


Final Verdict
My favorite lipgloss of all time!
It almost has the same quality of MAC's lipglass (minus the stickiness) for half the price! 

*







Saturday, September 10, 2011

NYX Round Lipstick: Blush, Paparazzi & Haute Melon Review

Best Blogger Tips
It's ME day today. literally. It's just me in the house, and the dog. The husband is out with friends for many rounds of longboard riding. I constantly worry whenever he's out riding because it's just SO hot and unlike us girls, boys usually do not have a pretty good sense of what sunblock & SPF is. 


So while here i am all alone in our very quiet house, i will be reviewing 3 shades of NYX Round lipstick: Blush, Paparazzi & Haute Melon. 

L-R: Blush, Paparazzi, Haute Melon

I love NYX lipsticks, they're inexpensive and come in a wide range of fun colors - from pretty nudes to shocking pinks to bloody reds, pretty corals and outrageous plums and blacks. I was lucky to have found a new reseller that sold these lippies at a cheap price and is based in Cebu. This allows me to save on shipping costs as i normally purchase my NYX lippies from a manila based seller. You can check out her page here Krozer Fashion Shop

I already did a review of the texture and quality of NYX lippies here, so I'll focus more on the color in this review. I've swatched these lippies below and you will notice that Blush and Paparazzi look similar. On the tube, they are almost identical, it's difficult to tell them apart. When swatched  though, Blush is more of a muted rose pink, while Paparazzi is more on the brighter pink side. 

Haute Melon on the other hand is on a totally different plane than the other two. Haute Melon is coral. Orange lipstick has been such a hit since summer and finding the perfect orangey-coral lipstick can be a hit or miss. I realize though that my skin tone matches very well with orange and coral lippies so most of my orange trials have been hits. I'm NC35 (with olive undertones) for reference so it may be safe to say that orange and coral lipstick would flatter morena and tanned skin very well. 

L-R: Blush, Paparazzi, Haute Melon (W/O Flash)

L-R: Blush, Paparazzi, Haute Melon (W/ FLASH)

Blush has a creamy texture which glides on smoothly and is very opaque. It's a very pretty girly pink. The best way for me to describe it would be a muted rose pink. Perfect for everyday wear. One of my favorites. 

Paparazzi has a very creamy texture and it tends to settle on the lip lines so make sure to apply lipbalm first. The color is cool, bright pink on my lips. A pretty color, but not one of my favorites. 

Haute Melon is such a pretty coral lipstick. One of my favorites. It's a bit transparent when put on the lips so you need to layer it a bit to get the color you want. Make sure you exfoliate your lips and apply lipbalm before putting this on though as it tends to accentuate dry, un-exfoliated (if there's such a word) lips. I tried topping this off with Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Kiss Me Coral and it was sooo pretty! I am in love with Corals! 

Overall, i am very happy with my recent NYX purchases - most especially Blush & Haute Melon. NYX has so many pretty colors I can't wait to try them out. I am currently eyeing Femme, Hot Pink, Peach Bellini on my next purchase. 

What's your favorite NYX lipstick? 






Friday, September 9, 2011

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque Review

Best Blogger Tips

I have been suffering from terrible skin the past 3 weeks. As i am not a "pimply" person, the sudden appearance of 1, 2 and then 4 pimples all at once is definitely reason for a panic attack. I later found out the culprit of this sudden pimple attack - Avon Ideal Shade Tinted Makeup Base. I have been using this for the past weeks as i ran out of my Missha BB Boomer. I had initially thought the reason for the sudden sprout of pimples was due to my dirty makeup brushes, so for a while there, i was like an obsessive compulsive person religiously cleaning my brushes and sponges every night. 

All throughout this "pimply" phase, i found a best friend in Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque. This masque and I go a long way back, and for the past 2 years, we've had an on and off relationship. 


At times when I have good skin and virtually have no pimples, this masque is forgotten and safely tucked in my drawer. When i need a "bad-skin rescue", or during "red" days when i have monthly hormonal changes, i reach for this old trusted friend and it never fails me. As a masque, this should be applied regularly, about once or twice a week. But because I am too lazy to do so, this has become more of a treatment masque to me - I only use this whenever i feel my skin needs some fixing. 


This is a very refreshing masque. It has a strong peppermint smell, almost smells exactly like toothpaste. The texture is very thick, and a bit grainy. 






When applied, you fell a very slight sting on your face which instantly goes away. If you have sensitive skin, it may be best to do a skin test first. You need to wait for the mask to dry before rinsing it off, which is about 10-15 minutes. After rinsing, your skin feels refreshed, tighter, super soft and squeaky clean. A bit of warning though, this tends to leave the skin very dry so for those with naturally dry skin, always moisturize after use. 


Despite my high praises for this masque, please manage your expectations. This is not a miracle masque. So don't expect an overwhelming change in your skin right after use. If there's one thing this masque is able to excel at, it's that it dries up pimples fast. I even use this sometimes as a spot treatment for matured or even impending pimples. 


You can buy this at Healthy Options for about P329.00, but this is sold waaay cheaper in the US, about $3.76 only. This is why i tend to hoard whenever i buy something from drugstore.com. Here's me with the green clay on: 





What the Label Says


Mint Julep Masque is the original natural home treatment developed by a dermatologist that helps dry up acne pimples, rinse away blackheads and shrink enlarged pores.

Simply apply Mint Julep Masque to your clean face and neck.  Within minutes it firms and hardens, drawing out impurities from your pores. After the masque is removed, your skin will feel clean, refreshed and smooth.

Even for individuals who are fortunately free of skin problems, Mint Julep Masque is a refreshing facial treatment that helps relaxed tired muscles and ease tension lines on the face and neck.

Net Weight:
8 oz (226.8g)

Price:
P 329.00 at Healthy Options



Ingredients:
Water, Kaolin, Bentonite (CI 77004), Glycerin, Zinc Oxide, Propylene Glycol, Sulfur, Chromium Oxide Green (CI#77288), Fragrance (Parfum), Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben.


Directions for use: 
Cleanse face and neck thoroughly. Apply masque generously and allow to dry for about 15 minutes. Leave on problem areas overnight, if desired. Remove with warm water and a washcloth



The Good
- this mask promises to: 
Dry up acne pimples - CHECK
rinse away blackheads - CHECK
shrink enlarged pores - NO OBVIOUS RESULTS SEEN
- inexpensive (especially when you have a relative from the US buy this for you)
- great to be used also as spot treatment for pimples
- refreshing and relaxing
- i love the peppermint smell! 
- leaves skin feeling clean and smooth
        
The Bad
- tends to be drying to the skin
- those with very sensitive skin may not be comfortable with the slight sting upon application

Final Verdict
 A+ 
I love this masque! 

*






Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Shocking Pink! Milani Rose Hip Review

Best Blogger Tips


What the Label Says

Rich, exciting color shines in a dazzling array of Cream, Shimmer, Pearl and Metallic Lipsticks. 
Shades contain high levels of pigments for vibrant, full-coverage Color With Impact.  Luxurious moisturizing cream formula makes lips incredibly soft and smooth.
Net Weight:
3.74 grams

Price:
$ 4.49 at drugstore.com
Not available locally


Swatches

 Rose Hip is a loud bright "neony" fuchsia hot pink with blue undertones. 

Due to the "bluish" undertones, this color may not be easy to wear for all skin tones, especially those with olive undertones like me so be wary of this. The color may be best for lighter skin tones, those in the NC 15-25 range. I am NC35 with olive undertones and surprisingly the color worked on me. 
 

.COLOR IS SOOOO MUCH MORE BRIGHTER IN ACTUAL. THIS PICTURE DOES NOT GIVE JUSTICE TO HOW SHOCKING PINK THIS COLOR IS.

*
This is my first Milani lipstick. I bought this during my most recent drugstore.com haul, which you can read here.

I love pink lipstick, it's something that can instantly brighten up a face. For a long time now I have been wanting to buy a really bright shocking pink lippie. I have so long wanted to buy Nars Schiap ever since i swatched it on at Essenses and loved it, but the hefty price tag was what held me back. It was just so painful to spend P 1,250 for a tube, i would much rather spend this on a good blush. My makeup philosophy is this: SPEND on Foundation, Blush and Primers but save on Lipstick & Mascara. I will discuss more of this "philosophy" in my next blog. 

So anyway, i was out researching for a possible dupe for NARS Schiap and a lot of the online resources say the closest dupe is Milani's Rose Hip. As i do not have NARS' Schiap, I cannot confirm through swatching if Rose Hip is indeed a dupe. But dupe or not, Rose Hip is such a pretty shocking pink color that you will either truly love or truly hate. It is the most loud fuchsia pink lipstick i have ever had, definitely not for the faint of heart. I once wore this at our office and i was stared at the entire day. I got compliments from some of the girls though and they all wanted to know what lipstick i was wearing.


The Good
- the color is a beautiful bright shocking hot pink
- finish has a bit of sheen but may be blotted for a matte finish. very opaque.
- moisturizing. does not dry out your lips. 
- texture is creamy
- great color payoff. EXTREMELY pigmented!
- staying power is average. without eating and drinking, color stays on about 3 hours. when the color wears off, your lips still has a pink stain on it.
- inexpensive. for the quality and color, this is definitely a bang for your buck.


The Bad
- not available locally
- has a weird, cheap perfume smell that i cannot describe (like Grandma's old lipstick smell)
- the gold, cheap plastic case is a bit tacky


Final Verdict
A+

For the price, this lipstick is great!
Will i purchase again? Once this runs out, yes. But this might last a long time since i would not be wearing this lipstick everyday. 
I am currently eyeing other colors in this lipstick line like Mango Mambo & Orange Gina.


*