Archive for August 2011

Benefit Cosmetics in Manila + 2 More "B" Stuff



Benefit Cosmetics will be arriving soon! Thanks Thiamere for the heads up on the upcoming Benefit Cosmetics counter in Manila. Rumour has it that the flagship store in Manila will be at Makati.

Get first dibs on this hot scoop by visiting their FB page. You may also get the chance to win free stuff from them by joining their contest.

Photo Source

Blogger Lay-out Giveaway. If you want some cutesy blog theme on your page, my blogger buddy, Lisa of Shop N Chomp, is hosting a giveaway. Hurry, it ends August 27, 2011, 12:01AM PST.

Big Brother's (UK) Darryn Lyons' Abs. Are you ready for fake abs? I'm totally NOT! I've learned about this from L&C and I was laughing real hard and was shaking my head in disbelief.

But the fake abs surgery was his call and I may be rude to still be laughing at the photos while typing this so I'm stopping.

Photo Source
Huffingtonpost has the story. Now quit chuckling at the teenage mutant ninja turtle Darryn.

Would you ever want your man to sport this look by the time he gets awfully HUGE? Would love to know...

Baby, I Shrunk My Pores with the Glowing Solution

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I used to have a huge span of enlarged, visible pores across my cheeks. Now, after all the painstaking derma trips (I live faaaaar from my doctor's clinic) and the half-awake sessions slathering on creams and gels using my tired hands, I can say that my pores got smaller! It was all worth it. I'm attributing this beauty milestone to Doc Six Foronda's Glowing Solution.

Product Impression

The solution stains cotton pads yellow and can smell chemical-ish when taking a whif of it from the bottle. This strong scent though is absent in fewer amounts like when poured on a cotton pad. 

I do not recall any stinging or burning sensation during the time I've been on it. 


After cleansing the face at night, dab a small amount of the glowing solution on a cotton pad. Target that you spread ONLY ONE LAYER of the solution evenly on the face while avoiding the following areas: undereyes, sides of the nose and around the mouth.

For acne-prone areas (like my notorious chin which has eventually been cured, thanks to Robaz), swipe on TWO LAYERS.

Product Highlights

This is worthy of it's name, really. I experienced a more youthful glow after a week of using it and eventually, I got improvements with my pore size. This is a cheap product that effectively addresses dull and uneven skintones. It's an added plus that it was able to shrink my pores, too.

Because of the lesser amount of product needed to cover my face, I get a huge bang for my buck for the infrequent need to repurchase the product. A small bottle lasts me 3-4 months.

The Letdowns

Aside from the scent, my biggest gripe about the glowing solution is that it leaves my face a VERY sticky after feel. It takes time before the skin absorbs it so that's more waiting time for me before I hit the sack.

It can also be a pain to be specific about evening out the solution in ONE LAYER. I find that if I put on too much, it can leave my face reddish, flaky and unflattering.

Another con is that this product is compounded by my derma, Doc Six Foronda, so it's not very accessible.  


  • i've observed that it neither alleviates nor worsens my zits.
  • when using this topical, avoid direct exposure to sunlight, wear an effective sunblock
  • the solution oxidizes over time (the light yellow tint becomes a rusty orange color)
  • i used this product alongside other topicals from my derma (remember the local obagi?) and Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel. I zeroed-in on this product as the greatest contributor to shrinking my pores because it's the only one I've been CONSTANTLY using all these months

Overall, I have lived with the letdowns of the 6F Glowing Solution because of its amazing effects on my skin. Here's an old picture of me (circa 2008) vis-a-vis the photo above (minus the doodling):

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturizer

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Today marks the second month I've been using the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel. Coincidentally, I've been experiencing unusual dryness on the cheeks and on some parts of the nose (way back February) and I'm on the lookout for a good moisturizer ever since I parted ways with my ex-HG, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. A few months ago at the Neutrogena event, I realized that the lack of a good moisturizer is just the tip of the iceberg. I am actually guilty of a roll of daily skin dehydrating conditions

With this problem at hand, the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel has been under strict scrutiny ever since I got hold of it.

The Product's Oath

Combining advanced skin-caring elements that replenish and repair skin from within, Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel constantly hydrates and protects skin from the negative effects of your daily routine. It works two ways to hydrate and rehydrate skin: It increases hydration levels uo to 200% and its innovative "12-Hour Progressive Release System" replenishes hydration all day long (transcribed from product brochure).


The 50g moisturizer is contained in a sleek and attractive deep sky blue tub. It's a tad bulky if you'd ask me, but if the brand was going for a high-end look to this new product, I must say they've nailed it.

There are two caps enclosing the tub: the screw cap and some "i-don't-know-what-it's-called" cover. It's a smart move, to put two lids, to prevent the good product from staining the screw cap right away which can get the entire tub messy.

Texture and Scent

If there's one thing that I'll remember about the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel by the time I get senile, it will be its amazing fluid-y texture! The texture is in between that of a gel's and water's. Its consistency is thin, runny and translucent. I'm certain that this is one of the product's strongest points.

The scent, on the other hand, is something I won't, or wouldn't want to remember. It's not that it's terrible, I just prefer my skincare products to be unscented.

Finish and Feel

Because of the remarkable texture, this moisturizer spreads easily even on my driest areas and gets absorbed by my skin rather quickly. With the right pea-size amount, this never leaves my skin feeling sticky and instead, I end up with a well-primed face that's velvety to the touch.


Sadly, I was not satisfied with Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel's hydrating capabilities for my combination-to-dry skin. My cheeks and sides of the nose still flaked a bit and I wasn't thrilled to see that. Perhaps, for those with dry-skin, this product is meant to be used in conjunction with the Hydro Boost cleanser, toner and serum for maximum efficacy.

However, I find that if I use this as a sleeping pack (think Clinique Moisture Surge and Laneige Water Sleeping Pack), it is able to aid in moisturizing my skin better than using it alone. Also, it's an amazing discovery that I am able to use my sticky moisturizers  under the  Neutogena water gel since the latter can improve the finish and feel of the former. I was actually able to cut down on wasted products because of this!

Photo Credits: Clinique Gel, Laneige Water Sleeping Pack, Clinique Moisture Surge

In the span of time I've been using the water gel as a sleeping pack, it has boosted my skin's radiance and suppleness. As a face primer, it did a good job in keeping my tzone less oily, thus making my face base a bit more long-wearing.

Product Highlights
  • 50g; P830.00; available at Watson's
  • a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer
  • cost-effective; the tub can last approx 3 months (or more!), used twice daily
  • no breakouts or purging state for my sensitive skin
  • versatile: it's a moisturizer that can turn into a sleeping pack or a face primer 
  • you only need a tiny amount of the product

The Letdowns
  • a bit pricey for a drugstore product
  • not -cone-and-parabens-free (i'm on the lookout for skincare minus the -cones)
  • i hope they lessen the fragrance a bit
  • packaging is too big for travel  

Helpful Hints:
  1. use a spatula to get the product off the tub
  2. use a small amount of the product (pea-size amount dotted on the forehead, cheeks and chin). it's all you need, really. more than that may just be over the top.
  3. if you have dry skin and you have moisturizer you're not using because of the gloopy after feel, use the Neutrogena Hydro boost water gel on top of it (let the sticky moisturizer sink in for a few minutes first) and transform its texture!
  4. for travel, scoop some product onto a small pot for more days of skin hydration outside home


I can say that this product is at par with most notable hydrating gels in the market. This is definitely something I'd recommend for oily skin. This doubles up as a makeup primer so that you can lessen the stuff you pack into your skin. For those with dry skin, you may want to skip this OR you can use it as a sleeping pack on top of your favorite night time moisturizer.

Photo Credits: Clinique Gel, LaneigeMoisture Surge

I just hope that the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel can come in smaller, budget-friendly minis. This is quite a pricey product and it's sad that a lot of oily-skinned might be missing on it because of its relatively prohibitive tag.

Dressing Table


Happy Sunday, everyone! I know how much you're wishing that Sunday gets more than 24 hours in it, just a little luxury before facing another busy Monday.

Let me tolerate that dreamy and fanciful idea with this set of inspirational dressing table designs:

ELF Studio Brow Kit in Light Review

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The ELF Brow Kit is probably the cheapest, most effective brow product out there that has a wax component to it. This is the highest-rating ELF brow product to date over at Makeupalley, where 164 reviewers gave it a 4.3/5 rating (I personally say that a 3.5 score from 100ish reviewers is already quite high) and 79% of them would repurchase the product.

Will it fare as good for Pinay brows? Oh how I wish we had our own version of Makeupalley...

ELF Studio Brow Kit Performance

Sans brow makeup, I have a relatively thick set of bleached brows with defined arches, thanks to my gradually developing brow grooming skills. The problem is, my brows are noticeably sparse on several areas and I need a good brow product to add fullness to these face framers.

I was able to achieve a more defined brows that softened my overall look with this brow kit. I loved how natural-looking my brows turned out, as if they were never really sparse to begin with. With my face neatly framed by a set of softer-looking brows, I was a happy camper! However, I'm thinking that if my brows weren't bleached, the brow kit in light would not have suited me. 

It is also essential to note that the brow kit is "makeup newbie-friendly" since it posed lesser chances of me ending up like Bert from Sesame Street. I usually end up looking cartoonish if I'm experimenting with brow pencils. It is sheer irony that a 3-step brow product is far more easy to use than the popular 1-step brow pencil.

Shade Selection and Packaging

On the US website, this amazing ELF Studio brow kit comes in 4 shades: dark, medium and light and ash. Unfortunately, our local counters only carry the kit in light.

The brow kit is housed in a small, lightweight, plastic flip casing. It comes with a small mirror and an impressive double-sided taklon brush. I really wish they sold brush backups since the angled brush end can wear out over time.

Product Highlights 

  • easy to use
  • wax and powder blends perfectly to give out a flattering color for those with light skintones
  • cheap yet effective
  • don't let the small packaging fool you, the kit can last you several months 
  • you can easily tote it in your bag for touch-ups
  • the brush that comes with it is not something you'll throw away

The Letdowns

  • the shade 'light' does not suit majority of the Filipina population
  • you'll need to swipe a LOT of wax so that it finally shows up
  • you end up hitting pan on the wax way before finishing up 50% of the powder (that's how much wax you need); they should come up with wax separates in addition to the double-sided taklon brush
  • intensity of color dies down by midday, however, it's nothing that touch-ups can't deal with
  • frequently out-of-stock

Price, Availability, Ingredients

The ELF Studio Brow Kit costs around 250php over local counters, and $3 on the US website. You can get it from local ELF counters at SM Beauty Section, from those holding pre-orders, and from resellers ( and multiply).

(taken from ELF website) Brow Gel Ingredient:Paraffinium Liquidum (Mineral Oil) , Ricinus Comunis (Castor) Seed Oil , Talc , Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax , Ozokerite , Methylisothiazolinone , Caprylyl glycol  May Contain:Iron Oxides(CI 77491 CI 77492 CI 77499) , Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)

Brow Powder Ingredient:Talc , Mica , Caprylic/Caprictriglycerides , Hydrogenated Polyisobutene , Sodium Dehydroacetate May Contain: Iron Oxide(CI 77491 CI 77492 CI 77499)


I might discourage friends with really thin and sparse brows from purchasing the kit in Light (I'd rather they use pencils OR wait till the 2 darker shades become available). I'll highly recommend this to makeup newbies, NC15-25ish, who'd want to experience the power of a properly framed face. With this product, it's definitely possible to sport nicely shaped and natural-looking brows on a daily basis.

I feel that more Pinays can experience the ease of having natural-looking brows if the ELF studio brow kit came to our counters in more shades. Dark and medium, sail to our shores please! I feel that if these two become available, I'll be striking out letdowns 2, 3 and 4 off that long list!

What To Get at the HBC Great At 88 Sale

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You'll definitely love the HBC Great at 88 Sale this August because:

  • the items on sale are certified must-try's
  • the selection is huge and ranges from makeup and skincare to hair care and household products
  • they don't sell stuff that are expired or are nearly expiring 
  • some are even below 88 pesos
  • most bestsellers are on the sale list

Here are the products, marked down at 88 pesos, that I highly recommend you check out:

1. Hair Coloring Cream (regular) - originally at 105php; many have raved about this dye over popular fora and most claim that even if you have virgin black hair, this product shows up quite impressively.

They have 3 coloring creams: the regular one (the one on sale), low ammonia (105php) and crystal color (125). Crystal color is priced a bit higher since it claims to give out a cellophane-shine effect (pretty much like Revlon Luminista I think).

2. Body Recipe Skin Lightening Powder, 120g - originally at 135php. If you are familiar with Ettas, this is pretty much like it --- a DIY bleaching kit that lightens skin like magic. They have 3 variants: Milk, Calamansi and Papaya. Milk is recommended for those with dry skin, Calamansi and Papaya for oily and normal skin respectively.

3. More Body Recipe Stuff: Skin Lightening Lotion (originally 120php), Scrub (originally 178php) and Body Butter. These are full-sizes, mind you, and they come in different "flavors".

4. Body Recipe Anti-Aging Facial Foam (goodbye fine lines!) and Lightening Facial Wash Papaya

You think I forgot to mention that little tube in the middle? That's number five...

5. Hortaleza, M.D. Acnesol Pimple Control Facial Cream, 30g - originally 102php. I need this for my stubborn zits especially during pre-menstrual days. 

6. Hair Color Touch-Ups - this product is great for mom and dad! It's a quick way to cover up gray/white hair when our folks suddenly wake up in the morning with their hair roots publicly announcing the degenerative truth. It's a hair emergency quick fix since the color washes away when shampooed (if you want something that'll retouch your roots, go buy #1). Colors available are black, dark brown and medium brown.

7. Inigo Body Cologne Spray, 100mL - originally at 100php. Perfect for kuya or as pangsuhol for the little brother during those days you scold him for not taking a bath. A nice kamusta-ka-namiss-kita gift for the special guy... nonchalantly quip that you suddenly thought about him and decided to spend for a body spray since he's so special to you.

8. Hortaleza Professional Shampoo - perfect for ate or the little sis! Yummy apple or refreshing lemon--- take your pick!

9. Clean Xone Fabric Conditioner and Liquid Detergent - perfect for Manang and Inday! Put an end to their frequent catfights over who does the laundry next by giving them divinely fragrant home products that won't dry out their precious hands! 

10. Sansan Makeups! - Two-Way Cake Age Defense Foundation (154php), Pressed Powder, Mousse Foundation, Mousse Concealer, Mousse Blush, Lipsticks and Thick Lash Mascara

This picture below has a saling ketket, can you spot it? - Body Recipe Eye Cream in Cucumber! Make sure you fork out 88 bucks for that undereye treat!

If you think 88php is already a steal, wait till you see the 44php list:

1. Body Recipe Skin Protecting Hand Sanitizer
2. Body Recipe Green Leaf Shampoo w/ Horsetail Extract - move over, Mane and Tail shampoo!
3. Inigo Deodorizing Foot Powder - no need to pay for expensive Scholl stuff since this works pretty good!

4. Body Recipe Moisturizing Foot Balm (and all their foot care products, I just wasn't able to photograph all of them)
5. Body Recipe Skin Lightening Facial Wash with Milk (don't you find it weird that the Papaya variant above is tagged at 88? I'll ask them tomorrow if they made a mistake here...)

6. Body Recipe Bath Soaps

At home, I took pictures of the products' expiry dates and I'm impressed that HBC is holding genuine markdowns. Most shops put products on sale because they are about to expire (BLIND ITEM: Sino itech na store na super thick face to sell beauty products na expired na pala... with matching unfriendly at annoyingly sunod ng sunod na SA's? Haha.)

Who says you need expired products before putting up that 'SALE' banner?

Here are the friendly beauty assistants who helped out:

Marife, the friendliest of them all. She was able to cater to the long roster of HBC queries I jotted down. She was pregnant and all but she managed to walk around with me while I scouted for stuff to get in the store.

With so much products on sale, it wasn't hard to fill up two bags. I grinned at the fact that I was schnorring on products that offer so much value for their price (thanks to HBC's CC Manager, Lorie Bundoc):

 I visited an HBC branch today that had limited stocks. It was a small branch but it still offered so much. Can you just imagine the longer list of to-buy's when visiting bigger HBC outlets (this branch didn't have the famous Body Recipe Hair Remover (goodbye expensive Veet/Sally Hansen)... if you're visiting mall outlets, please have that on your list!)??? 

The Great at 88 Sale will run till August 21, 2011. That's three more days from now so better get your lists ready and troop to the nearest major HBC outlet before the other girls hoard all the great stuff in store for you!

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