The Last Haul of the Year

 2014 has been another roller coaster, and my last post of the year, well ends with a haul, by January I'm going to take the Pharmacy Licensure Exam, hopefully I'll pass. Anyway, here are a few things I picked up during Etude House's 20% off sale.

Finally bought that cute nail polish set I've been  eyeing, my favorite nail polish, another shade of Color lips fit and finally a good eyeliner, since I'm trying to improve my skills.

Got a lemon mask and some samples as well!

Thanks for reading! Sorry for such a boring post, but Happy new year anyway!


Real Techniques Nic's Pick's Collection Review

Happy Holidays! Sorry for the lack of posts. But here is a review for one of my best purchases of the year.

Charlotte Tilbury, world renowned makeup artist to the stars said invest in good makeup brushes because they can make all the difference, in other words, the finish will speak for itself, high end makeup will look cheap if not properly applied, and drugstore makeup can't be told apart from high end brands with the right application.

Price: P1750 on @stuffinstyle

A collection of Nic’s favorite brushes. Complete any look with this limited edition set, featuring 3 exclusive brushes specially designed to create the perfect finish.

Includes all the brushes needed to create a complete look:

  • duo-fiber face brush: for lightweight application + blending of face powder or pigments
  • cheek brush (set exclusive): evenly applies makeup across cheekbone for a more dramatic finish
  • angled shadow brush (set exclusive): perfectly cut for layering eye shadow in the crease
  • base shadow brush: applies a smooth, flawless foundation of color
  • eyeliner brush (set exclusive): firm, angled head for optimal control along lash line

I never paid much attention to makeup brushes at the start of my cosmetic life, I loved using the little applicators, which is not a mortal sin but if you want to see the real power of that eye shadow, that blush or how immaculate your skin could look with foundation without being too thick, that's where the big toys come in,.. brushes!

At first I bought cheap brushes like P100 for a kit kind, clearly they did not convince me to buy into brushes, and let's face it brushes from some Filipino brands smell horrible, so I'm sorry to be unpatriotic but I tend to gravitate towards foreign brands which proved to be too steep for my pocket but upon discovering Real techniques, I found hope. Affordable and good quality and they smell like nothing, Plus sets! Sets are definitely for people who are beginners, who have no idea what to use, my first kit was the Core collection, then the Travel essentials, now I have this kit, Nic's Picks, Nic, being one of the Pixiwoo sisters who made the brand.

Now on to the review:

These brushes have special ferrules, silver, which make them look so Pro! I believe the hairs to be made of Taklon, which is synthetic. And it comes with 3 exclusive brushes, which you can't buy anywhere but this set!

Duo Fibre Face Brush

I have been longing to try this brush for ages! Mostly because my idol, Ruth Crilly from A model Recommends, uses it a lot. and many reviews stating that this was the only good brush from the duo fibre collection which was limited edition, not wanting to spend good money on unwanted brushes, I was psyched to have this in a different set! It is unbelievably soft, and it picks up so little product which is a good thing since you can use it with a heavy hand without looking like you piled on the makeup today, this is ideal for powder products, great for translucent powder since it diffuses product so well, and very pigmented blushes and bronzers, the ones that make you look like a clown can finally be used with this brush, giving sheer layers and your choice of color build-ability! This brush is probably enough for you to get the whole set, since the other brushes are pretty nice but this has a very luxurious feel to it, no scratchiness at all, contrary to its appearance.

Cheek Brush (Set Exclusive)

This is a flat blush brush, simply put, I personally prefer a dome shaped brush for blush so the shape is not my cup of tea, but it does a good job for applying blush, it gives a soft flush. But not the best at blending in powder products, be sure you use  the tap tap tap method for applying. And if you have the expert face brush, you'll find this to be the fluffier and bigger version. I think this is actually good for setting makeup and I have even tried this for  liquid foundation and it has worked out surprisingly well, so I think this would actually be more ideal for cream or liquid cheek products.

Angled Shadow brush (Set Exclusive)

I have been severely disappointed with my RT Travel set essentials dome shadowed brush which had to be glued again, badly I might say. So I was tickled pink to have two eyeshadow brushes. Not a big eyeshadow fans, but the right tools changed my mind, I've been stuck with sucky brushes, but these changed my eyeshadow application life! Brushes do change your life. Hahaha. This is actually used for the crease, but I find myself reaching for it for concealer since it does such a good job in blending, I have used it a couple of times for eyeshadow but it's a tad big for my crease but turned the right way it can work. It is very soft, so blending in is not an irritating task.

Base Shadow Brush

This brush can be found in the Starter set, which I wanted to purchase before, but held off for this set. This brush is equally as soft as the crease brush, It can pick up shadows adequately and it is my most reached for brush for eyeshadow since it can blend well too. 

Eyeliner brush (Set Exclusive)

I have just been getting into eyeliner, but by that I just use powder eyeshadow for a softer look, since I'm merely dipping my foot in the water, I use this for a black eyeshadow or a dark brown/ But most of the time I find this is great for eyebrows, many who bought the starter set found the eyeliner brush in the set was too thick. But as I searched for pictures online, it really is compared to this one found in the set. It is a very sturdy brush so I hope to use more of this when I buy a gel liner in the future!

Overall I find that this set has good value for money, I love these brushes and I'm looking forward to purchasing more brushes from real techniques if the maintain their quality and price range. Thanks for reading and Happy almost new year!


November Favorites

This is my first favorites post! I couldn't do this before since I had the same favorites over and over again. But I decided this time is nice time to put this up, since I have some new stuff I've been over the moon for and rediscovering some old faves.


James Cooper Jazzy Collections Eyebrow Gel

What is the biggest problem for girls dyeing their hair, besides hair damage? The brows. The brows have to be at least the same color family as the hair, to make things less conspicuous. So here I have a proud local eyebrow gel that I picked up because of reviews referring to this as a dupe for MAC's browset. Of course I can't vouch for this as a dupe.

Price: P329
Availability: All SM dept Store watsons
Content: 7mL

Jazzy Collections or James Cooper is a local brand that has beeen around for a while, but I've never gotten around to trying anything from them until I found out that they have great brow gels, I have the darker color in brown, but I can't use it as my hair is quite light.  So the next time they restocked, I picked up the lighter shade which is unsuprisingly popular. The quality of this brand is nice, and I would like to see their products expand their range and products.

Bare brows
As you can see my brows are black as it is my original color, the color of the gel is a shimmery golden tone, which can be intimidating but isn't too noticeable when applied directly to brows.

On my right brow only
Here I have applied it to my right brow, as you can see it has significantly groomed and lightened it.
Both brows
On both brows. But I kind of applied it a bit messily of on my left brow.

This is one great and affordable brow gel for you ladies out there who want to lighten their brows in a few strokes, it comes in 7 ml, which is a lot! And did I mention that this is waterproof? You'd be pressed to remove this with just plain soap and water, a pro and a con, but more pro for those days that you cannot afford makeup meltdown, so this is recommended for the beach, sports and long events that require makeup to be bullet proof.  But perhaps the only true con to this is the brush/wand it comes with, which can be difficult to work with, so do so lightly, as overdoing it is a very high possibility, it can pick up too much product at times, which can attribute to messy and crunchy brows. A little goes a long way for this one! So try to check it out if you're on the hunt for a cheaper browgel as it can get pricey for little product in other brands.


K-Palette Zero Kuma Control Concealer #02 - Yellow Beige

 Price: P795
Availability: Beauty bar shops
Content: 13 g
Zero Kuma Concealer (02 Yellow Beige) has a light shade that works wonderfully to cover dark circles caused by pigmentation or skin dullness. It contains brightening ingredients Vitamin C Derivative, Chamomilla Recutita Extract and Prune Extract.

All those nights reading strange articles, watching YouTube videos and reading novels sure take a toll on your under eyes, and this is where the K-palette O kuma concealer comes in.

Kuma means bear in Japanese, since pandas have dark areas around their eyes and they are bears, I'm guessing this is where they've taken this from. Pandas can rock the dark eye area, but not everyone can, including me.

This concealer is a very bright yellow shade, which is great because I'm very pale, which makes discolorations around the eye area apparent. I like that it doesn't give that reverse raccoon look, when your under eye area is a tad too bright for comfort. Of course there are other variants to cater to your specific concerns. But I feel my under eye are is a bit dark, I don't find any bluish or purplish undertones to the discolorations, but there is a significant different in tone, so I opted for brightening, which is this, Yellow beige tone.

Bare under eye area

Applied but not blended


It is rare for there to be a concealer with 13g. It may come off as pricey, but think about it, 13g is a lot of product! Since the consistency of this concealer is so thick and pigmented, you'll only need to use a very small amount, and boy does it pack a punch. Remember to blend well because the last thing you'll want is for it to crease/smudge or look painfully obvious you are wearing concealer and have someone else point it out.

For some bonus advice, put on some eye cream beforehand, because this concealer dries off matte, which makes it long-lasting but not exactly pleasing for those with dehydrated under eye areas.

But over all this is a good concealer, that does what its supposed to. And with the amount of product this will probably last you two years if it doesn't expire within that time.


Cathydoll C'est Bon Bon Sweet Ball Highlighter in Pink

Price: I bought this for P390 I think back when there was a sale
Availability: Cathydollphilippines
Content: 30g

Description: Sweet Ball Highlighter makes your face radiant.With the compatible combination of Pearl Crystal Ball, it colors your face, making it look brighter. Moisturizing properties ensure your facial skin is hydrated all day long.

I bought this a while back. And I have been neglecting it, but it's incredible how you fall in love all over again with a product. This is my first product that came in pearl/ball form. So imagine how intrigued and giddy I was over this. Most of the pearls are a pearlescent baby pink and an occasional white or bluish white pearl mixed within.

It comes with a puff, which I don't use, I use a powder brush to sweep this along my cheeks. And the effect is quite lovely. it leaves you with rosy glowy cheeks, yes thses balls are shimmery but the glitter particles are not chunky, just right.

Applied on cheeks
To be honest this highlighter was questionable for me, since it was really pink, I like my highlighters to be neutral. But after applying this, I get that glowing flushed look. It's quite subtle, if applied with a brush, my mom, who uses the puff gets much more pigment on her cheeks, so how you apply is up to you.
Shimmer is only visible with specific lighting and angles
And don't worry about overdoing it, it's very hard to overdo it with this, though you'd think it'd be more packed with pink, it's surprisingly light on pigment. Good for those who loathe the clown look. But if you are going for more pigment, use the puff, and yes, it is buildable.

The only gripe about this is the plastic-y smell, which I don't like, it's not very detectable when it's on your cheeks, and some may or may not mind it, but if it bothers you that much, you can spritz your favorite cologne or perfume on the balls, I did that and it still smells like it! It masks the plastic-y smell quite well I might say!

Closer look
This is a good find for girls who don't like overdoing their blush or want a blush/highlighter hybrid. And this will probably last you a few years, yes years, I mean 30g for powder is a lot of product even if used daily!


Canmake Perfect Serum BB Cream Light

This is my second BB Cream from Canmake, as I gave the original version away, I couldn't retake pictures. This post was originally a comparison between the two, but now it will be a more focused review on this BB Cream.

Price: Variable from what I've seen online
Content: 30 mL


The BB cream born from beauty serum - A light version with natural coverage!
Contains 21 types of beautifying ingredients.Natural coverage creates moist, silky, baby-soft skin ♥
SPF50 & PA+++, with a formulation that's gentle on your skin ♥
Light, whisper-soft texture! Barely-there feeling, as though you aren't wearing any make-up! Your skin feels moisturized even after removing your make-up☆

I have the shade No. 2 Natural. It's a yellow toned BB cream that looks thick on the picture above,  but as the name says it is light, very spreadable and light weight. To be more specific it feels more like a tinted moisturizer, true to its word: barely there feeling.

And it may scare off other girls for looking too dark, but it can actually cater to fair-medium skin tones. 

No base makeup


I'd say it has light to medium coverage, it does a great job at evening your complexion but dab some concealer or get the original Canmake BB cream that has heavy coverage. For oily girls, you're going to need to powder, but good news for dry-skinned girls, this is pretty moisturizing and gives that dewy glow. And it really feels barely there, a plus for those who hate the heavy feeling of some rich BB creams or base products.

A nice solid BB cream that has a warm undertone, good for girls who are tired of getting pink and grey toned BB creams.But for those who are looking for some heavy duty coverage, go for the original version, it may not feel as light as the light version, but it does its job!


Photogenic Makeup + Tips

So yesterday, a friend and I decided to get our Philhealth ID, so we can finally get a legal ID, ohhh the problems of post grads. But we both didn't have 1x1 pics that were required, so we had to get our pictures taken on a white background, I'm about to take the Pharmacy board licensure exam so I need new pictures too, a passport type, unfortunately, I smiled in the photo, so I can't use it for the actual passport application but I can use it for the PRC requirements. But the next time I'll be taking photos to apply for my passport, I'll be sure not to smile and I have the makeup look for it. 

The Products I Used in Order:

Etude House I'm Blooming Sebum Control Mist
I am an oily oily girl. I get oily fast and furiously. But thanks to this I stay matte and powder fresh longer. Perfect when you apply makeup in the morning and have to get your picture taken in the afternoon.

Makeup Forever HD Foundation
This is my go to foundation if I have to go anywhere and do anything that involves flash photography, this has no SPF which means no white cast in photos.

MAC Prolong wear Concealer
This concealer stays put, has great coverage and also doesn't have a white cast in photos.

Essence Fix and Matte Translucent Powder
The MUFE foundation is by no means matte, but with this powder I can banish shine with the extra help of the mist. I don't wanna look like I can fry eggs on my face in my photos

The Body Shop Honey Bronzer
Nothing washes away your complexion than the flash, and bronzer will bring that back, you don't necessarily need the "works" but a good bronzing gives you the lost dimension from flash.

NARS Orgasm Blush
A nice flush to bring color back on your face.

James Cooper Jazzy Collection Eyebrow Gel
Brows always get washed out, even in my photo it looked more grey than brown. I'll work on that next time.

Nyx Adorable Palette
I just put the matte white shade on my inner corners and brow bones. Then I took the matte brown shade on my crease just to define it more.

L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara
Because your eyes need definition. I applied lots because I didn't have time to line my eyes.

Happy Skin Shut and Kiss me Lippie in Honeymoon Glow
A nice warm nudy shade that doesn't look overpowering. Just right for taking photos because it's not drying but it's not reflective like glosses either.

In natural light 

Studio lights 

Makeup Forever HD Foundation Review

Hear ye hear ye! Here is another product of my impulse buying! Well it was a bargain in my defense. Got it from @beautybazaarph on instagram, who incidentally had in in one bottle in my exact shade and was considerably priced less than other stores.

Price: P1500
Availabilty: Online stores
The MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Complexion products use innovative formulas to create a new generation of makeup which is both invisible on HD cameras and to the naked eye. HD Foundation combines flawless coverage and an extremely natural finish.
The Sericite contained in HD Foundation heightens the diffusion of light and intensifies the glow of the skin. Enriched with moisturizing agent, HD Foundation moisturizes and prepares the skin for makeup. Its usually smooth and elastic texture makes it easy to apply and a pleasure to wear. Skin texture is refined to give a very natural complexion.
HD Foundation is an oil-free medium-to-full coverage liquid foundation which covers skin imperfections, while remaining invisible on-screen and in real life. It is available in a wide range of shades to suit all skin tones.

Bare face
Not blended

Blended with fingers
After a full face of makeup

I have my shade in 120 Soft sand. To be honest this was never in my foundation wishlist, but I was intrigued with the term HD. I have seen it in action on people with severe acne scarring and was curious for a while but I read that it wasn't matte, but here I am now with a bottle of it. It has a smooth, really blendable consistency, it literally melds into skin. It looks so natural but provides coverage almost as well as ELDW. And I wear this if I wanna be photographed at night, ELDW doesn't hold up well under flash.

It is good in covering flaws. One gripe, it is very almost too moisturizing that it is very difficult to keep it matte. And I get oily under it pretty fast. So I would not pick this as a daily wear foundation. Good for special occasions though, like prom or graduation. But beware oily girls, you have been warned.

Recommend? Yes to girls who want a photo friendly choice for base makeup. Blot up for oily girls. And as much as coverage goes, you're still gonna need a concealer if it's that severe. I used some for the photos above. Some have said that this is comparable to Revlon Photoready foundation so you're welcome to try it if you're not willing to spend a pretty penny for the MUFE one.


Etude House Wonder Pore Freshener

Price: P798 for the 500mL bottle
Availability: Online stores, EH boutiques and counters
Content: 500 ml

1. Deep cleanses pores. 
2. Maintain ph 4.5 +1
3. Control a large amount of the sebum
4. Minimize appearance of pores
5. Refine the skin tones
6. Keep the elasticity of pores
7. Moisturize inside and outside of skin

So I actually first discovered this through a Youtube guru named Nayoung (Oiseau88). She featured this as one of her skin care staples and I was very interested when I learned of its promises

In my original review I raved about this but after 2 years I decided to renew my thoughts on it. 

It's a nice toner, a very gentle almost water but refreshing kind of feel. It says its suitable for all skin types but I can't vouch for that. I have oily acne prone skin and this was my first toner, all I know is that it didn't cause any bad reactions for me, nothing worse nothing better. I really liked it back then and but I can't say I can recommend it with as much glee as before. It's an average product for me. 

But notable points on this product is that it doesn't dry out your skin, subtle scent, and feels like water.

If you love Etude House, go ahead, but if you don't, then better pass on this product for something more suitable for your skin, like right now my toner has AHA for acne before I had Clindamycin + Retinoic Acid toner. 

Hadalabo Shirojyun Arbutin Whitening Lotion

Price: P750
Availability: @BeautigramShop on Instagram Japanichi.com.ph

Contains Arbutin to fight dark spots. Smoothes & clarifies to optimize skin’s radiance & translucency.
Vitamin C helps skin recover from accumulated sun damage while reducing the appearance of dark spots to give clearer, fairer skin.
Contains Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate intensely, keeping skin soft & supple.
Skin pH balanced. Low irritation.
Free of fragrances, mineral oil, alcohol & colorant.

Use twice a day after cleansing face. Apply on palms and gently pat onto skin until thoroughly absorbed.

Search Japanese skin care on Google and Hada Labo will definitely pop up. It's just that popular, it's world famous for their quality products, so popular that bottles of their lotions get sold every few seconds.

I am pretty much contented with my skin tone, could go a touch darker I guess, but my main problem is hyperpigmentation, that's actually the main reason for the many many many whitening products in Asia, not really for whitening skin tone, more on banishing dark spots.

This lotion is NOT a toner, there is a very big difference between the two please refer to this article for the whole explanation.

So assuming you've read that article, this lotion is not meant to be swiped with a cotton pad, but can be used to be a mask by soaking a cotton pad. It is a scentless, slightly whitish liquid that feels just like water on skin.

I use this after toner to prep skin for all the moisture that I'll be bombing on my skin. I think it does help a bit with my dark spots, but as of this moment I am using a lot of brightening products it can be quite difficult to determine which one is actually working.

There are other lines from Hada Labo, this lotion isfor all skin types, for dry skin, you might want to check out the Goku-jyun line. You might want to give this a try if you have dark spots but I guess to fully appreciate the benefits, you might want to buy the whole Shirojyun line.

Etude House Face Designing Brightener in Wannabe Face

Price: P648
Availability: All EH stores

Let me get to the bottom line: This is so good I never fail to include this in my makeup routine. Basically that's all you need to know about this product. But if you want to know the finer details why, read on!

As you all know, I am an oily-skinned girl. And as an oily-skinned girl, I tend to hate looking oily but especially since I don't just oil up in my t-zone. I'm talking my whole face. Like North, West, South. East. So I have always kept my complexion matte when it comes to makeup, but somehow I always yearned for that youthful dewy look but without feeling the GREASE.

This highlighter has everything I wanted in a compact. I first saw on Stylesuzi's YouTube videos. She expressed that she never liked highlighters but this definitely changed her perception and it has also changed mine about shimmer.

Not Applied

Applied on nosebridge and cheeks

The finely milled shimmer makes your skin looks like it has perfect lighting. Glows where you want it to glow. I use it on my cheekbones and nose bridge and I love the effect.There have been other shades but I found them looking to "cool" and since I have a warm tone, I chose Wannabe face which is a yellowy color. I have read other reviews like from Shimmerjjang Andy that this cakes, not cakey looking but the product itself on the pan cakes and hardens. Now I have found that mine does not do this, maybe a contributing factor as to why it cakes is that if you use the same brush on your wet base products and this. I use the Real techniques contouring brush in applying this and it has never caked.

I am absolutely in love with this. And did I mention it also smells divine? It has a fruity floral smell that is so addictive, I just find myself sniffing it, excuse my weirdness.

The lasting power of this product varies with your base products. Since I am oily, if I just use this alone without anything under, it will fade in 2-3 hours especially if I must blot, but if i use a long-lasting foundation, it stays put all day, this was pointed out by my friend.

I would recommend this to everybody who wants to glow.

Overall great product, would recommend to anyone but of course you are free to choose any undertone it comes in.

Etude House I'm Blooming Sebum Control Mist

Price: P528
Availability: All EH stores

This sebum control mist thoroughly hydrates thirsty skin while controlling oil and shine, providing soft powdery skin.
With ingredients that strengthen skin's natural vitality, this mist helps maintain fresh, blooming, healthy skin.
Contains 95.9% of early summer green tea extract (Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract) that balances out skin's moisture level for a moist inside with a soft, powdery outside.

How to use
Frequently spray evenly onto face whenever skin care is needed.
Leave at least a 20 cm distance from face when spraying.
Content: 150ml

Ettusais Puru Puru Serum

Price: P1400
Availabilty: Japanichi.com.ph
Content: 47g
Limited Edition Release
Instant moisture yet feeling that it is not sticky, a moisturizing effect that is sustained for a long period of time. The 5 concentrated beauty ingredients makes it highly effective in moisturizing in one one drop (hyaluronic acid · W collagen, royal jelly, glycerin, moisture keep oil). Can be used on all skin types for day and night.

I've actually had this for quite some time now, late last year I was nuts for Ettusais products. And the moment I saw this was on shelves I pre-ordered it.

It is very intriguing, I mean a serum in a form of a scrub like substance. But it's no scrub, it contains little balls of highly moisturizing ingredients, (give up on the topical collagen ladies, its chemical structure is to big to enter pores). And this is actually my first serum for anti-aging purposes, yeah yeah, I'm too young blah blah, but prevention is better than cure and moisture equals youth. And though I'm oily I find my skin is really thirsty for moisture after washing my face, even with a mild cleanser.

Heads up on this guys, it can be used as a primer since it has that dimethicone feel to your skin, but it's a bit difficult to spread so i mix it with my VMV Oil free moisturizer to make it spread better and melt in better. I use this sparingly since a bit packs quite a punch of moisture. Overall decent product, but the smell might be a bit off setting, but the delivery system is quite niche for a serum.

Might buy again if I find more real need for it, I recommend this for drier skinned ladies who might notice a little or two fine lines creeping up.