Human Nature Balancing Face Toner is Sweeter the Second Time Around

IMAG2815You remember that piece of cake/donut/cupcake/cookie that someone gave you a taste of? You know you love it when you can’t help but get a second helping of it. Or you go to the ends of the earth just to find where she had it made, or bought.

My Human Nature Balancing Face Toner with Elemi and Orange in my skincare arsenal is my ultimate chocolate chip cookie, without the extra calories on the thighs. My bottle finally was down to its last drop and I found myself buying another one. Same ingredients, same size, same price, same plastic bottle. What surprised me is the new design in front. I still love the previous design though, and I hope they bring the golden-colored lines on the new bottle. But that’s just me. :P

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The price never went up, or down, though so that’s a plus—Php109.75 ($2.68)! It’s as good as your department store and health store toners without breaking the bank. Plus, this company doesn’t test on animals, uses natural ingredients, is run by fellow locals, and gives back to society through their farmers. Learn more about the Balancing Toner here. IMAG2818I have oily/acne-prone/sensitive skin and this never broke me out. It actually helps in minimizing my oil slick throughout my day. What is your HG face toner or skincare product, and that you find yourself repurchasing the special snowflake? :)

P.S.

If you live outside of the Philippines, Human Nature can deliver right to your doorstep through FedEx.

Nailing It: Beyond the Work-safe Neutrals

So far, I haven’t applied for anything yet—applied for a job, that is. My time is mostly taken by my community work (teaching out-of-school youth) and other related activities that pertain to what I fight for (electoral reforms, women’s rights, etc.). Despite the busy days, I still find myself doing my nails. It’s still a wonder to some of my closest friends how I can still maintain the nail upkeep while doing field work. That’s every vain girl’s little secret, I suppose. :P

My September favorite was this nice muted gray-purple-taupe that I found for Php20($.50) at my local drugstore. An application of two coats does the color justice. It’s creme, without the added shimmer, glitter and whatnot. Applied with my favorite China Glaze First and Last top coat, this Sassy Colors in Cocoa Brown can last up to two weeks.. but I’m fickle. I change colors like a chameleon. :)

Aside from the purpley taupe, another color for October suddenly came rushing in straight to my heart. This NYX Girls in Gentlemen Prefers Red is now my ultimate go-to for va-va-voom nails. First day of wearing it got me compliments, probably cause it’s my first time to wear red. YES, I DID IT! I conquered the fear and wore them like nobody’s business. No regrets though, and I can’t stop admiring them in the sunlight. :D Pure creme, a blood red, and as of today, it’s been five days with minor tip wear (that’s barely visible).

So those two gems would be the ones I’ll be going back to again and again.. but that doesn’t stop me from making a polish haul along the way. :P A few days back, I got two BYS polishes in Urban Jungle and Antique Gold, and Girl Stuff polishes in Dare and Tina. The Urban Jungle is what I’ve been finding for—a muted minty green that doesn’t scream spring and daisies. The Antique Gold is an almost rose gold. Emphasis on the almost—still finding for that perfect rose gold w/o breaking the bank. Yep, no Essie/OPI/Butter London/Lippmann for me.

What’s your classic, never-fail, season-less polish colors? :)

Victoria’s Secret Sheer Love Are Long Hugs in a Bottle

I was never a fan of anything Victoria’s Secret. I thought it was too frilly, and too sweet for my liking. Sure, I love the colors but most of the scents are just overkill. Sadly, we do not have a freestanding VS store so locals make do with online sellers and overpriced consigned outlets across the metropolis

I came across this Sheer Love scent when I dropped by a Personal Care Exchange branch at Robinson’s. Like what I always do, I just lurk around the VS display cabinet and admire the girly-ness of it all, and still expecting that I wouldn’t really be attracted enough to purchase. But right across my line of vision, like an unexpected bear-hug, I spotted Sheer Love—an unassuming pink bottle that’s infused with pink lily and white cotton. Cotton and lily—something inside my head clicked that this is the perfect pair that reminds me of cashmere, pearls, and 20-minute long hugs with steaming cocoa on hand.

And true enough, I got a whiff when I opened the bottle (the nozzle was Scotch-taped). Heaven. I’m not good in describing scents and notes and whatnot, but this, THIS is the perfect blend of sweet and clean. I particularly do not like too clean scents nor too sweet, Katy-Perry-ish ones, but Sheer Love takes the cake. For a 250mL bottle, it comes with a Php700 ($17) tag but you can buy cheaper ones online. I got the travel-sized lotion at eBay for Php171($4) so indeed, online sellers are gentler on the wallet.

What’s your favorite Victoria’s Secret scent? Are you into fruity, sweet or clean scents? :)

Sassy Colors in Arabian Nights Gives Me Drama Minus the Tears

Everyone has to have a first time — your first date, that oh-so-momentous first kiss, the first love, and your first heartbreak. Needless to say, I am part of the minority, proclaiming that I haven’t had all those firsts yet. But I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer on a cheery Monday morning, who would want drama online when we’ve got lots of it in real time? :D

Enter my first almost-black manicure. Ah, this is what I can jump into! Nothing dramatic like that first sloppy kiss (mine has yet to come), but this is not in any way sloppy in application. Sassy Colors is a cheap nail polish brand I’ve discovered in my local drugstore (Watson’s) and this shade is part of their Magnetic Polish line. I don’t do nail art whatsoever, magnetic included, so I bought three shades (Starstruck, Bewitched) without their boxes and magnetic thingamajigs. The price point’s pretty hefty for Sassy Colors, Php49.75 ($1.19), but the pigment (green or gray, depending on lighting conditions), multicolored glitter and opaqueness in two coats is worth it.

This is the third day after application and look, ma, no chips! The glossy shine is credited to the China Glaze First and Last top coat and without it, gloss isn’t really part of the picture. If you’re looking for high-shine lacquers, this can’t really give what you need. Dramatic on the long-wear and opaqueness, but crocodile tears on the glossiness and bordering-on-the-thick consistency.
I still wish Sinful Colors is readily available though.. and China Glaze and Color Club wouldn’t be so overpriced in my country—Php300; $7 (!!) per bottle! Now, that’s drama. :|

Update and Almost-Post-Undergrad Hauls

I don’t know where to start, or maybe the fact that it’s unknown could be a start.I have been spending days, weeks, months poring over the last remnants of my undergrad requirements until I finally start that long-awaited march in October. It had been an emotional roller-coaster ride (if you use LiveJournal, my personal thoughts are poured over there) and from a long talk I’ve had with a mentor last night, I can look back at the experiences with laughter, a bit of melancholy and a huge serving of life’s lessons. :)

But I am not going to bore you with tears and all, this is a beauty blog after all! :P So for the past few months, I have been hauling to, sort of, stand as my retail therapy. It’s those bits and blobs that make my day a little bit cheerier than usual.

Picture 1: Wet n Wild Megalast nail polishes in Private Viewing, Bite the Bullet, Candy-licious, Sugar Coat; Rimmel blush in Santa Rose, pretty dangling earrings, a travel-sized Victoria Secret’s Sheer Love lotion (LOVE the scent!)

Picture 2: Milani single eyeshadows in Antique Gold, Java Bean, Sun Goddess; Nichido single eyeshadows in Gold Foil, Bronze Eclair; The Face Shop Make Me Star Waterproof Gel Liner in 06 (wore it last night; a smudge-proof, stay-all-night hunter green with gold flecks)

Picture 3 and 4: swatches! <3

Picture 5: Wet n Wild 8-Pan Eyeshadow Palettes in Petal Pusher and Comfort Zone

Picture 6: Caress nail polish in Metallica, Sassy Colors nail polishes in Starstruck, Arabian Nights, Bewitched; Essie nail polish in Good As Gold (my first high-end polish; a bit of splurging won’t hurt, will it?)

Picture 7: Miss Beauty sand nail polishes in 03, 06, 13 (gritty, matte and it really feels like sandpaper on your fingertips)

Picture 8: discounted mini Max Factor nail polishes in Diva Coral, Ivory, Bronze

I’ll be back for the regular blog posts that I, myself, have been missing to do. See you! ;)

ArtDeco’s Back, Philippine-style!

I recently did a mini-haul from Beauty Bar (more on that soon) and the ArtDeco stand pulled me right in. I remember seeing this brand from Rustan’s and Watson’s 2-3 years ago and it has since been pulled out. Now, it’s back! And it seems like the whole range has been shipped in to my shores.. comparing to their old booths way back, ArtDeco had not really been able to penetrate my local market.

I still have that waterproof lip liner (a nice pink-nude) in my trunk and still use it to this day. Now I’m lusting over the Perfect Sticks or the Camouflage Creams! I tried the Perfect Stick in-store and the shade No.5 in Natural Sand seemed like a good match. It has that thick-but-not-dry consistency too which I see myself having a long-term relationship with. The eyeshadow collection is also massive but I’m not so crazy about them. Rather, my eyes caught this nice taupe polish. :P

Have you tried ArtDeco? What are your personal favorites? :)

NOTD: Gilded Blue

Because (1) I have no shame in putting my hastily-made nails on the web and (2) I haven’t posted an NOTD (nail-of-the-day) in ages, I think it’s time for a change of pace. :D

Featuring an old collection from Wet n Wild, the shade Goldmine, and Caronia’s On The Go, I am living vicariously through my nails right now. I will be going back to some non-profit work that I’ve left which involves school, mostly, next week. I cannot go to the beach then, as much as I’d love to. Cream teal topped with golden shimmer, it is!

Enjoy the coming week! :)