Friday, June 11, 2010

This Blog will be Moving

Hi all! I just recently bought the domain so soon, if not very soon, as I slowly fix the layout on there I shall be moving from here to there.  You can click on the new link to see what's happening I'm actually a bit saddish because I've already got a somewhat steady number of visits here, but it's time to have more flexibility.  I had my friends who are helping me with the transfer over to there remove first the redirect action so you guys could still savor Bless My Bag as it was the first time for the last few days (how emo, hahahaha).  Besides the new site isn't ready yet.

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Comic Relief: The Face Shop Maskerade


Oh yes, rejuvenating masks by The Face Shop, which is a South Korean bath, body, and cosmetics brand that was birthed in 1962.  Before talking about that, I'd like to give a brief foreword.  I've always been thankful for my generally clear complexion, kudos to the God who made me and my great great Japanese grandmother for handing down the cosmic skin genes, thanks Lola!  Hooray for healthy skin!  If ever there is something I'd complain about when it comes to my face it would be its sensitivity and well, my dark eye circles, but that's all I really battle with once in awhile, thankfully.

Are you stressed?  Haha, I thought today's product would be nice break from all the cosmetics we gush over that can sometimes leave our faces in protest.  Here are some cool (and you can make 'em really cool) facial masks by The Face Shop to help pamper your face on a weekend or after a hard day's work.  Note these are not exfoliating masks, they're aromatherapy, soothing, and moisturizing masks.  So if you're looking for the type of mask that's more likely closer to a cream or mud mask that's supposed to peel off impurities after, this isn't what you're looking for.

I entered The Face Shop outlet on High Street at Fort Global City and felt a little bad for the staff because I saw the bigger shop space closed further down that they had to give up for the current one they occupy.  Obviously, business didn't thrive but hey, good thing they were still there.  I browsed the shop counterclockwise, noting that there was a lot of stock on hand that, sadly for them, stayed in place for quite awhile (discolored boxes with worn edges, you get the idea) however, on the last two shelves was an impressive selection of facial masks with natural/organic variants, and the packaging didn't look old, they were probably what sold more continuously.  I gushed over the packaging all of which were really nicely designed, muted and minimal but eye-catching and very Asian.  I purchased 4 kinds for Php95 each.  I now have to show them to you again because I talk too much.

Above clockwise from left: Vita K Mask Sheet (with Seaweed properties for dark under eye circles), and Jasmine and Fennel Revitalizing mask , Cereal Rice Mask for soft clean skin, and the Vita E mask sheet with milk and egg properties.  mom didn't want to try because she probably didn't want breakfast on her face.  She chose the Jasmine and Fennel one.

I highly recommend refrigerating them overnight or for half a day, but make sure you store them out of the way of your normal ref stash, you wouldn't want to eat these by mistake.  In our case, I put them in the refrigerator the night before.

Essentially, they're like really large Wet Ones sheets with cutouts for the facial features.  Wash your face, use toner (optional), and you're ready to go.  It smells really, really good once you open the pack it's like instant aromatherapy.  It's cool when they're really cold (redundant tsk tsk) upon application on your face.  I can't help but rave about the layout for the packaging.  All the stuff written on it is well-placed and laid out, even at the back.

It's also wonderful to note that the Natural and Cereals mask collection are made with 100% natural pulp.  They also do a set of masks with synthetic fiber which is cheaper at Php65.00 per pack.

This is my mom, you see I still protected her identity.  One can't be too careful nowadays.   After you put the mask on you can leave it for 20 minutes and leave earth for awhile. 

The pack says to rub the excess liquid into your face when you've removed the mask.  I'd do that then still rinse my face with water after to leave that clean, fresh feeling on your face.   Used the rice variant on myself.  My skin felt soft, clean and smooth after.  I felt pore-happy.

 It's also fun to do it with a friend, instant comic relief.

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Metallic/Shimmer Bliss: 4U2 Palette from Watsons

Even though I attended Rockwell's Summer Solstice Bazaar yesterday (bazaar ends today, Sunday June 5th at 10pm) where hungry makeup enthusiasts gathered for the all-you-can-eat buffet of vintage finds, style steals, pro makeup brands, imported makeup brands, organic cosmetic brews and resurrected junk jewelry,  the catch of the day for moi was not at the bazaar.  It was at Watsons, a local drugstore here in the Philippines.  I happened to find this gem of a palette for Php 950.00 (est USD $21.00) at the Virra Mall branch but I'm sure this stock is available at most if not all Watsons branches.  My friend, Grace, who showed her exact same palette to me a week ago was the one who reminded me that there was stuff available like this right here!!  I just happened to be surprised that it was inside Watson's.

The brand 4U2 is a Thai manufactured brand licensed by BEL AIR cosmetics in the U.S.A.  As you will see in a moment, this buy is really good find.  Here it is in its packaging, and yes I do have hand swatches and eye tests of this ^v^.  The pigmentation, blendability (word? tsk tsk) and texture of this set of eyeshadows is even stronger and more buttery than the Elianto ones I raved about, although I do not lessen my praise for Elianto, these happen to be good on the metallic end.  I wish this range had a matte collection. 
Nice matte finish box

The palette is heavy-ish, as mom said when she lifted it "It feels serious!".  It's really solid when you pick it up.  You don't feel any parts of the palette moving about, it feels tightly assembled.  You know how crystal CD cases shatter to pieces the very moment you drop them?  I absolutely hate that so I'm glad this does not feel like it will even crack after your first, careless fumble.  No I will not test that haha!  The finish is a semi-matte textured plastic.  The edges of the plastic palette are tapered so a you can see below there aren't any hard corners, it has a smooth roundish feel to it when you hold it.  Ok, enough about that, onto the product!  Sorry, I already swatched them so you can see where my fingers swiped the pans.  I was too excited.
The instant you open the palette you see a set of 8 pans all slightly bigger than MAC shadow pans.
As to how deep the pans are I can't tell at the moment.  What catches your eye is the metallic gold shot through most of the shades, but not all.  The shadows don't have names (sob*) so I'll identify them my own way.  TOP ROW from left: 1. A sunny yellow gold, 2. A bright turquoise blue with a shot of gold, 3. A muted golden rose pink, 4. A deep metallic bronze.  BOTTOM ROW from left: 5. a nice shimmer cream shade, perfect highlighter, 6. A muted but more golden metallic version of the turquoise on top 7.  A strong rose pink with less gold shimmer  8.  Last, but definitely not the least, another bronze but this is the MOST metallic of the bunch and has the insanely most amount of the same gold shimmer incorporated into the previous shades.  This one is awesome.  When swatched dry it looks like it's foiled (when a shadow is combined with water), actually most of them, look!
You know what is even more awesome?  The swatches above are  only 1 dab each into the pan, upon 1 swipe on your hand that's exactly what you get, then after I did the above swatches,
 I needed to remove what was left on my fingers right? So I swiped them on the other side to clean my fingers...look how much was left, all that after 1 dab each in the pan!

So I thought this blog entry wouldn't be this long, I'll only show you my FOTD with the most metallic of all the shades, the last one I mentioned.  I have a funny profile picture below because I wanted to be able to show the finish of the makeup base and the light in my room just wasn't working for the frontal picture, so that's this.   See the piece of MAC 109 brush hair left on my cheek?  I thought that was funny...brush fail!  That brush really tends to shed.  On my face, Pixi Flawless beauty primer on my cheeks then Clinique Super Balanced Foundation in Cream Chamois, Lancome Sparkling Cherub Illuminating Powder, and on my lips Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited 908 never fails.  Eye makeup 4U2 shadow, mascara Rimmel Sexy Curves.
and the one below is the eye test I did last night with the metallic bronze shade and the highlighter on the inner corners ^v^.  What I did below is a monolid, just 1 color but it look like I've got something else in my crease, right?  You betcha, I discovered these metallic shades have a two-tone effect!  It looks like you're wearing 2 colors because they define your eyes depending on where the light hits.  So here where my brow bone hangs over my lids, the deep bronze of the shade comes out, and on the lids the golden part gets hit by the light making it look like a lighter shade.  Sorry it's a bit dark,the lighting in my room sucks.

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An Eyeful of Elianto, follow up EOTD

Two posts ago I promised my aunt, a makeup bug as well, to try the Elianto single eyeshadows on my eyes.  Note to readers I did not fashion a "look" here, I simply put eyeshadow base then using my fingers applied product to my eye generously...and of course mascara after, just to show what it looks like on my lids.  

  Pigmentation is pretty good, much much better than any stuff I've ever owned and they blend beautifully!  Not bad at all for Php150.00 each.   I used Lancome Aquatique Eyeshadow base as my lid primer and highlighter on inner corners is from a Korean makeup palette I picked up from Watsons...oops, did I just give my next entry away?  Hehe, bedtime. 

Elianto Turquoise Blue

Elianto Princess Plum (my bad, I did not blend properly, too sleepy)

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rainy Day NOTD: My 1st Try at Nail HeArt (test)

Ever since I tried the Del Sol  Sun Activated color-changing polishes my love for nail color was rekindled.  For today's NOTD I experimented for the first time with  cut-out scotch tape stencils and using the Del Sol "Pretty In Pink" polish for the heart. 

If you're going to try this, once I post a tutorial after a better attempt, I would preferably use 3M's Magic Scotch Tape, the kind with a matte surface, for minimal damage to the polished nail upon removal and easy stencil cutting/punching.  I made a huge mistake in using cheaper scotch tape.  This is what I should have used.
Here's a look at my base color, China Glaze's Platinum Silver.

This is a perfect high end silver shade for me, not too on the white side not too much grey either.  I wouldn't be crazy enough to purchase my own bottle of China Glaze polish ($5-$7 a pop!) unless they had mini bottles or if it was a shade that captivated me every single day because of its uniqueness.  This bottle of Platinum Silver belongs to Tinette & Co., a local Philippine salon located at Fort Bonifacio Global city.

I'm biased when I say they are the best, but even though I know I am, I'm still recommending them.  I've been going to this salon with my mother since I was 8 years old.  Tinette is a high-street salon, but the owner is a good family friend of ours and their people are top of the line and know every single thing that wants fixing when it comes to us.  So we never think of going anywhere else for our beautifying needs unless due to a sudden schedule constraint. 

I actually only managed to do 2 fingers for this first attempt just to test the idea, my thumb and index finger. but it was worth a try as long as I could talk about it, haha. This is not yet a perfect finish.  It's not even an ideal photo because the heart didn't go deep pink under an overcast sky.  I will do a "tutorial" once I've perfected the method.  Basically, it really just involves scotch tape, small scissors (I used the one with my mini Swiss knife), patience, and a steady hand.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

No NYX/Sleek/Bare Escentuals? Elianto Saves the Day!

This next post was supposed to be my follow up on the Ever Bilena eyeshadows, but after having purchased something ultimately special today at SM Mall of Asia, I could not help but move this review up to the front of the line.  I continuously share the same feelings of frustration that Filipina makeup lovers/enthusiasts have, which is that certain highly recommended imported, affordable eyeshadow brands like NYX from the U.S. and Sleek makeup from the U.K. are not readily available in retail locally except maybe through individual sellers/dealers.  Who knows, perhaps it's better that they aren't.  Maybe this is a chance for high caliber Asian brands to step up to the plate.  Brands like Elianto which is a Korean brand distributed in our region by Malaysia.  You might possibly squeal at the deal and quality I got from Elianto.  This is my first ever purchase from them, two single pearl shine eyeshadows, one in #08 Aquamarine and the other in #21 Princess Plum which is more like a cranberry cocoa shade than plum to me.  Happy happy joy joy, there is also a separate matte shadow range, but I exercised restraint for today, I will blog about the matte eyeshadows in a separate post.  One single Elianto eyeshadow costs Php150.00 (USD $3.50).  The pan is about 1.5 inches in diameter (bow to them, MAC).

I find that from all the swatches, both photo and video, that I've seen online of both NYX and Sleek products from various gurus and enthusiasts, Elianto I believe is Asia's close version of those brands.   I so hate that I didn't take photos in the Elianto store, but I didn't want to have to cunningly dodge the mall's security staff.  Here is a totally awesome thing about the packaging, the pans of product come glued to thin disposable plastic trays from which theyare easily removed, goodbye stressful de-potting, hello easy collecting.  Elianto also sells 4 slot palettes for Php 150.00 if you want to collect 4 single shadows straightway (might I suggest 2 pearl shine, and 2 matte ^v^)  I can't wait to fill my soon-to-arrive organizing palette with these! getting ahead of myself.
08 Turquoise

21 Princess Plum

Finally, the best part of everything wonderful about this, drumroll for the payoff please...........the finger swatch
Oh my, a blue that actually comes out blue, the way it looks in the pan!  The color was actually even deeper than it is in this photo!  Non-chalky, velvety smooth, 2 finger swipes back and forth for each shade and they don't rub off like powder when you run your other hand over them.  I have 1 trio of Nyx eyeshadows from an aunt of mine and these are like the exact same quality only better because they're less powdery and don't break easily (I dropped the Turquoise one in Red Mango as we were eating frozen yoghurt and nothing happened...time stopped).  My friend Kikayrunner was with me and she said "Wow, it didn't break!"
These eyeshadows are absolutely my favorite find for the month of May.  I was told by the Elianto saleslady that they also have a branch in Greenbelt 5.  Their product range includes makeup, skincare, body care and nail care.  They also had a mineral makeup line at the helm of their in-store center display.  A little time on your feet outside with friends can certainly bring unexpected bargain finds your way.  It's nice when every once in awhile you stumble upon something you think is too good to be true...and it truly is good.  Let's see if an FOTD with these reveal if the worn wonderful payoff can stay for a number of hours.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

NOTD Mutya Polish in Vinta

Fiery coral fuschia glamor in a bottle.  This is  Php 65.00 (USD $1.50) Mutya Nail Polish in Vinta.  This could be a close cheap dupe of my favorite fluorescent by China Glaze "A Rose Among Thorns (Neon)".  The color is so fab it confuses digital cameras, seriously.


What you're seeing is 3 coats finished with an Orly Sec' n Dry Topcoat.  This is completely dry, but the topcoat helps keep it looking glossy and slick.  Purchased along the shores of Boracay, applied in Manila.  ^v^

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