Archive for August 2013

Inexpensive, Pigmented Lip Colours from G-lish

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The G-lish Lip & Cheek Tints (which I discovered when a good friend gifted me a pot a few years back) are great lip products for those who are reluctant putting lipstick on on a daily basis. I find them tacky on the cheeks so I never use them as a blush. My forever fave is Nude Rush, a deep coral-brown shade, which I think will suit most skintones and different lip pigmentation.

nude rush pink crush

At P100, these pots are very affordable. It's worth every peso as it is creamy, highly pigmented, and non-drying. The downside is that it doesn't really tint the lips (and the cheeks, I assume), hence, isn't long-wearing. There are three shades available; G-lish Nude Rush and Berry Blush will fit lightly and heavily pigmented lips while only those with pale lips will enjoy barbie-pink lips from Pink Crush.

Ben Nye Banana Luxury Powder Review: Why It Didn't Work For Me

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My week-long love affair with the Ben Nye Banana Luxury setting powder ended when I realized I wasn't really getting what I hoped it would give me. I expected the loose powder to give me a healthy-looking skin but I ended up looking aged and unpretty as it mattified my skin way too much.

    I'd say the Ben Nye Banana Luxury powder works best for oily, light skin

The good stuff in that transparent plastic tub is that it:

  • contains finely-milled powder that did not break me out
  • provides the skin a good amount of warmth it needs
  • made my huge pores invisible
  • was priced at P450.00 at the time I bough it (latter part of Feb 2013) which is already sulit for 42g of loose powder especially when all you need is a very small amount per application.

Because the Ben Nye Banana setting powder proved to be a magical pore eraser as soon as I apply it, I gave it more days for testing even though I frowned at the way it made my skin look flatly matte. Now, the horror begins two hours after application: its oil controlling power nosedives from excellent to poor; my poreless cheeks turn very dry; my skin generally turns from matte to dehydrated. The highly reviewed setting powder did not work well for my combination skin. (Check out reviews from Liz, Donna, and Nikki).

The reviews I've read complained about the packaging. I would've too but because I taped up most of the dispensing holes, I din't have powder flying out every time I used it. Everyone hates product wastage.

    You can depot the powder to a sifting jar or tape it the way I did to prevent product wastage

This is an international brand but we have local resellers. I trooped to PureBeauty Serendra (they also have a Trinoma branch) but this is always out of stock. I finally purchased at an online store, Style Quarter (back when multiply was still around).

The Ben Nye Banana Luxury powder is a medium to heavy coverage loose powder that gives liquid foundation a longer wear time by setting it matte. Oil control is fair and while it does not give ample coverage for heavily blemished skin, it is a powder that has a low risk for breakouts. If you can buy the 42g tub at P450-500 and you are on the lookout for powders that give off a highly matte finish, then this product may just make it in your HG list.

The Shu Uemura S Curler vs the Original/Classic Curler: Do You Really Need the New One?

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When I first learned about the Shu Uemura S curler back in June, I went, "what for, Shu? You've got a great curler already!", and then I suddenly remembered the SOLE gripe about their iconic, classic, silver lash curler: it can pinch badly if your eyes are not wide enough. Brilliantly, the people from Shu decided to create a sidebar-free mini lash curler to cater to all eye sizes and shapes thus eliminating skin pinching and ensuring all lash strands are primped to a perfect curl.

difference between S curler and classic Shu Uemura curler
   The S curler vs Original curler: section-by-section versus curl-all-at-once. Both result to a flattering, long-lasting curl

I finally met the new curler who seemed to say, "mover over!", when I placed it alongside the original one. Weirdly enough, after toying with and trying both tools, I have to say it's hands down to the classic curler.

Huge Problem: it may not pinch but it pokes

I find the S-curler very hard to use. It has this supposedly helpful white pad you put against the eyelid (versus the very similar Urban Decay Revolution curler which has no pad at all) to serve as a feedback signalling that the curling pad is already at the perfect position-- near the base of the lashes. But I find it didn't help me at all. Worse, there were instances I had part of the curler poking my eyes! I know it shouldn't be that bad; it was obviously my amateurism getting in the way of properly experiencing a well-meaning product.

Since I was already tearing up from getting part of the curler in my eyes, I was no longer pressing the white pad on my lids. Think my lashes still had the curl of their hairy lives? Noooope. I've never seen something as silly as irregular curling-- some section curled near the base, others in the middle of the lash length. Not flattering at all!

Pros and Cons of The S Curler

I'm presently  loving the classic curler more than new one only because I'm such a noob dealing with non-sidebar curlers. It might take a while before I learn the ropes but I can already confirm the new curler's pros :

  • gives a rounder curl versus the classic curler 
  • allows you to curl the shorter inner and outer lashes
  • perfect for curling falsies including the fancily wide ones 
  • a good tool for makeup artists because it works universally
  • more compact than the original curler
  • a few pesos more affordable than the original curler (P1000 vs P1095)

Cons include:

  • practice needed; in my case, LOTS of practice needed
  • time-consuming
  • not for the impatient
  • white pad gets easily displaced when cleaning the tool (you can always put it back though. just be wary of permanently losing it!)

The S curler is among Shu Uemura's newest products along with the Tokyo Lash Mascara (both will be available in the U.S. website by September 3). It's a great tool if you want to be OC about having to curl every bit and strand of your lashes but can be a pain if you've never ever used something like it before. (A makeup artist I met had a hard time using it on herself but she swears by the design idea being outstanding. She's used something like it, only it wasn't angled but was tweezer-like). If you're already in love with the classic, original curler and you don't really plan to do other people's makeup, trust me when I tell you you don't need the S curler.

3 Reasons Why I'm Back To Black Brows

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As I got accustomed to getting my hair colored, I made sure that my stark black brows undergo regular lightening too as I feel I wouldn't be able to get away from a potential beauty faux pas.  But recently, I started sporting my old black brows again.

       Raising both brows for subject emphasis lest my syringoma and pores take all the attention

It isn't because I got too lazy bleaching them nor have I had a change of heart (I still cringe at the thought of my contrasting brow-hair color!), but because of three inevitable situations that keep me from dyeing them again:

1. The Sally Hansen activator dries up quickly.

Waaay too quickly if I may be precise. I have purchased two Sally Hansen Bleaching Kits in a row and both activators gave me a maximum of three uses instead of the usual seven.

The Sally Hansen bleaching kit contains an activator, a dry bunch of granules you mix with a bleaching agent, a moistened, creamy mixture.

I normally finish up the set after 6-7 brow dyeing sessions but this time, I felt I was totally ripped off with just 3 uses. I decided to give it the "2013 rip-off award" since it happened two kits in a row.

So yes, I'm currently wearing black brows.

2. Andrea Gentle Creme Bleach has been out of stock for months now.

I bumped into the Andrea Gentle Creme Bleach (prior the 'just-3-uses' nightmare) when Sally Hansen kits started to run out of stock. I love this product as it is relatively cheaper, yields more dyeing sessions than Sally Hansen's, and does a good job in giving my face an overall softer look.

But two months ago, I walked out of Beauty Bar (where I purchase it from) without the product and only a scribbled promise in my hand:

Andrea Gentle Creme Bleach was out of stock! SA's gave me the branch contact number suggesting I check with them in a few weeks' time. Months have passed now, no new stocks have arrived.

So yes, I'm currently wearing black brows.

3. I recently discovered the Majolica Majorca Brow and Lash Colorist.

For someone who hates black on brown, it's surprising that I'm still not looking for new ways to lighten my brows. Thanks to an awesome brow coloring makeup, I am currently surviving.

I should already come up with a review on the Majolica Majorca lash and brow colorist as I've been using it the entire time I boycotted the Sally Hansen bleaching kit and while waiting on the return of the Andrea Gentle Creme Bleach. I use the lighter shade, BR333, and while it does not result to looking like my bleached brows, it keeps my face framers from looking very black and that's all that matters for now.

I take off all traces of makeup at the end of the day so the fact remains I'm still wearing black brows.

While writing this post, I couldn't help but congratulate myself for being able to deal with black brows against brown hair for months! I also should give the Majolica Majorca Brow Colorist a pat on the cap for providing a temporary fix. But, I'd be lying if I told you I'm okay with how my brows are today because I'm seriously missing brownish brows. I'm a few nudges away from retrying Sally Hansen so do pray that Andrea restocks their bleaching kits soon!

Operation Smoother Feet: The Jergens Overnight Repair and Ultra Healing Lotions Experiment

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When I turned 33 this year, I noticed that my feet looked a lot drier than before making wearing fitflops and any open-toed shoes a bit of a nightmare for me. I was already carting a heavy moisturizer I found on the internet when the kind people from Vibelle sent me two highly moisturizing Jergens lotions- the Overnight Repair and Ultra Healing. Yes, how convenient!

Jergens Overnight Repair and Ultra Healing lotions, 100mL, P100.

I know there are specific creams and lotions for the feet but I've always experienced that regular body lotions worked well enough anyway. Although I must admit, I may have to follow a completely different school of thought when I turn 40.

The Experiment:

In an experiment, I tested both water-based moisturizers for their ability to:
(1) smoothen the skin on my toes, and
(2) eliminate the cracks on my heels

Every night for 30 days, I smoothed Jergens Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin on the left foot and Jergens Overnight Repair on the right, massaging a lot more product on all toes and both heels. I also covered both feet with socks; it's not a quick ritual but hey, when is curing a disease (omg, a disease!) ever an easy task?

Care to guess which lotion worked better for my feet?

Jergens Ultra Healing vs. Jergens Overnight Repair

Jergens Ultra Healing - Heal & Soften
Jergens Overnight Repair - Repair & Restore
Product Info
this fast absorbing body lotion goes deep beneath skin's surface to lock in moisture for 24 hours of relief. With continued use, it actually triples skin's moisture content, healing dryness at the source to prevent its unwelcome return. Use daily, giving special attention to elbows, knees, hands and other dry area
repairs and rejuvenates overnight so you can sleep beautifully and wake up to revived skin. With it's effective formula of antioxidant vitamins and healing hydrators, this body lotion replenishes skin's moisture reserves and quenches dry skin as you sleep. It softens and smooths to repair a week's worth of damage in just one night.

Key Ingredients
Vitamins A, C, and Pro-Vitamin B5
evening primrose, shea butter, jasmine, acerola
classic Jergens
faint floral, very pleasant
Texture & Feel
very creamy, takes more time to get absorbed by skin
creamy, absorbs quickly
Yes + very shiny nails
No. very cool and satin-y afterfeel
MUA rating

While the ugly cracks on my heels weren't completely eliminated by Day 30, they are less noticeable now and more visibly so on the right heel. The very dry skin covering the phallanges of my right foot have been significantly improved, too. Clearly, Jergens Overnight Repair fared better than the Ultra Healing variant in this experiment.

I spend the least over body moisturizers as I have a generally problem-free skin from the neck down. However, when my feet started to look very dehydrated this year, I convinced myself to invest in pricier heavy moisturizers. Even toyed with the idea of getting an expensive foot care set. But then, with the discovery of what the 100-peso Jergens Overnight Repair lotion (and socks!) can do for me, I just saved myself from  a couple of unnecessary spending!

Disclaimer: Products were sent to me for review purposes. Post content is in accordance with my personal experience while using the Jergens Ultra Healing and Overnight Repair lotions. I tested these products on my own two feet and never on kitty nor wabbit paws.

Going Out, Bare-Faced

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Two days ago, I started testing two new skincare products from Nature Republic, the Original Power Whitening and Lineless Ampoule and the The First Number One Essence (a GWP trial size I received). I normally don't do a post about products I currently screen, especially if it has only been a few days of use, but these two deserve to be exceptions.

The morning after the first night I used the tandem,  I woke up so late I barely had time to do my face. I risked public scrutiny (of my dry and scarred cheeks & my oily t-zone) by leaving home with only some tinted balm on my lips. And guess what---

I just accidentally discovered how much I can go bare-faced the entire day without feeling too embarrassed. Although it's not the first time I braved the streets without powder on as I've been bare-faced doing car-less errands ever since my skin got better (I used to pack powder foundation even if it's just an errand right across the street! it used to be that bad), but this is the first time I survived a day without makeup. I only had to wash my face 3-4 times (soapless) within the day to get rid of the extra oilies.

        Summary of Nature Republic's The First skincare line. Click out to improve readability; photo from Nature Republic           website

      Click out to improve readability; photo from Nature Republic website

Prior to the no-makeup epiphany, I have been using the Original Power whitening & lineless ampoule alone and it didn't do much for me. I should've road-tested the essence minus the ampoule but for reasons I don't know, I used the two at the same time. I will definitely isolate the essence's results after a few weeks.

I'm still a little skeptic over the improvement it gave my skin at a very short time that I bury myself thinking of the other factors that may have contributed to making my skin look better. Have you had skincare products that worked so quick, too? Did you ever end up stocking up on them? Would love to know!

Stop Saying You Can't

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I found an interesting flow chart that helped a lot in flushing most of my exercise excuses down the drain. It gives the best reasons why one should stop saying they can't by highlighting the benefits of being able to move around while brilliantly ridiculing the most popular excuses for putting exercise off.

Should I Workout Today?

        Flow Chart design by Sparxoo 

It's a quick and worthwhile read to boost your fitness willpower and I hope by the time you get to all points in the chart, you're as ready as I am to start moving more. Let's start the week right by busting all that unwanted fat, ladies!

Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Cleansing Oil Review

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Dubbed as the creme de la creme of Shu Uemura's beauty cleansing oils, the Ultime8 Sublime promises to target eight skin concerns by combining eight exquisite oils of botanic origins. Eight... botanic! And so I jumped off the edge of my seat to get my hands on this miracle despite the fact that I'm already impressed and satisfied with the Sakura Fresh variant. Oh girrrrrls, *SMH*.

                  Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil, 150mL

The Exquisite Eight

  • Jojoba Oil: high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids to activate collagen and provide hydration plus improve skin suppleness
  • Safflower Oil: rich in Omegas-6 and -9 which help maintain the skin barrier
  • Camelia Oil: is regarded as a precious beauty oil in Japan; has restorative and rejuvenating properties due to oleic acids, Omega-3,-6,-9 and Sasanquasaponin, which has anti-oxidative properties
  • Soy Oil: a natural emollient that moisturizes and protects the skin
  • Olive Squalene: a natural emollient that mimics human sebum and leaves skin soft and moisturized plus provides anti-oxidant effects
  • Shea Butter: abundant in triglycerides and fatty acids offering protection from photodamage; reinforces the skin’s barrier function and helps protect it from stressors
  • Ginger Root Oil: a medicinal oil in Asian countries which reduces inflammatory and oxidative reactions; helps prevent skin damage, reduces wrinkles, brightens and smooths skin.
  • Corn Oil: contains a variety of fatty acids and forms an ultra thin oil layer on the skin surface to protect it from dryness.

Shu Uemura Ultime8 's Physical Properties

The packaging and pump bottle are both impressive and its unique black twist-to-open nozzle (the rest are white) seems to scream "I AM SPECIAL". It smells luxuriously herbal and has a slightly heavier consistency & feel compared to the Shu cleansing oil Fresh variant.

I find that the recommended amount to be used, 3-4 pumps, is too much for my entire face. I use a pump and half (amazing pump system that allows flow control, as with the older variants) and yet I don't feel I skimped on it. I knew the 150mL will last me till the end of its shelf-life (6 months). And it did!

          Opened mid-February 2013. This photo was taken 2 days ago (posted at Instagram too, @the_beautybin)

Claims, Thoughts, Reviewed!

Shu Uemura reports that it tested the Ultime8 Sublime on 49 Asian women who used the cleansing oil twice a day. The test yielded the following results:

94% says skin feels smoother 
92% says skin feels moisturised 
90% says skin looks more radiant 
92% says skin looks refined 
85% says skin looks revitalized 
90% says skin appears more translucent 
92% says skin looks more supple 
90% says skin feels nourished 

I assume these are the eight skin benefits that the product claims to provide the skin. Out of these benefits, I'm surprised to see that:

(1) the least experienced benefit is skin revitalization, which I felt almost instantly after the first few uses; and

(2) the mother of all benefits, skin purification / cleansing, isn't reported. Personally, I'd consider "moisturised" and "nourished" one and the same, making room for "X% cleaner skin" in that report.

Price: P2650 for 150mL
          P6250 for 450mL
Where to buy: Shu Uemura counters
Shelf-Life: 6 months for the 150mL bottle

If I were to enumerate the benefits the Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime cleansing oil gave my skin, it has to be: skin purification, revitalization, radiance, and moisturization. That's 50% of the promised results. But hey, I wasn't using it twice a day like the test subjects did.

"Use Ultime8 Sublime once a day and you get half of the entire benefits". Well played Ultime8, well played.


While it never caused me pimples nor negative skin reactions, I won't be. I get clean, revitalized, radiant and moisturized skin from the Fresh variant which costs so much cheaper than this! I was also hoping this cleansing oil could help reduce pore size but it didn't. 

Looking at the benefits above, this product seems to have been created for aging (but I am aging!) progressively aging skin, those with age-spots and/or sun-spots, and dehydrated skin. I'm very sure these people would've written a very different review but with a similar recommendation.

If you don't have sun-spots, age-spots, freckles, and dry skin, I encourage you to try Shu Uemura's other (hello, cheaper) cleansing oil variants first. The Ultime8 Sublime may sound like it is and was formulated to be the best cleansing oil among the rest, but it's apparently not so in my case.

July in Review

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I was planning to create my first August post by looking at my July reviews and discoveries in restrospect but horrifically, I have not posted as much as I should. I failed to put up several new products I've road-tested and loved but will make a mention of them now, antecedent to a more consistent blog posting this month.

As far as the blog goes, I've:

(1) told you how much Relumins Advance White oral glutathione worked for my skin without breaking me out nor making me chunkier than I already am.

(2) discovered that ZA cosmetics is back in the Philippines and have shared with you a cheap but sleek-looking foundation case that may also fit powder foundie refills from Shiseido and Majolica Majorca.

(3) shared a drool-worthy post on Dulcelin's Mango Torte that I keep lusting about. I fight off the urge to get another box by reminding myself about my fitness goals, which is of course a huge conscious effort.

I should've also told you about:

(1) the Oxy Jet Peel treatment I had two weeks ago which I would recommend to those who'd like to look extra primped on a big day without having to suffer excruciating treatment downtimes.

(2) my little experiment on how effective Jergens Overnight Repair and Ultra Healing lotions are.

(3) Tony Moly's Acerola Sheet Masks - which i stocked up on before it goes OOS... again!

(4) Clarisonic Mia, Banana Boat Sport Sunscreen, and the rest of the products I told you about last May. May? May! Goodness, I ought to be ashamed!

                           Image from Moto Message

I'd like to share that I've also started to become active in other social networking platforms. The Beauty Bin is now on Facebook (created sometime ago but remained inactive), Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. I'm eons away from getting the hang of having to go to one app to the other, but I'm trying.

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