Smashbox Love

For someone who doesn‘t use make-up and doesn’t even know how to put on make-up for that matter, I sure can rack up quite a bill hoarding beauty products. I just can‘t say no to a new lipstick every month or so. Especially from my favorite brand, Smashbox.
I discovered this brand a little over two years ago, when I was in-between jobs and was whiling away my time at the mall. My first purchase was a nude lipstick which smelled deliciously like chocolate. What I love about a Smashbox lipstick is that it glides on smoothly on my lips and doesn‘t get cakey. Their Photo Finish and Be Legendary lines smell great and are very creamy while the lipliners provide color that lasts all day and while the scent is quite different from what you would expect – it smells like shaved wood, it’s a very welcome surprise.
Aside from blush, my other fail-safe beauty product would be a lipstick, and I can safely say that after years of using Smashbox (I do use other brands like Maybelline and Model Co, but very rarely), it has yet to cause dryness. In fact, my lips chap when I don‘t use Smashbox. So wearing it has actually become part of my skin care regimen and not just for vanity’s sake.

Anyway, my old shade, Magnificent, seems to have been discontinued already so I had to look for another shade that I can wear everyday. I decided to get this light cherry shade, Primrose, from the Be Legendary line. It’s a bit brighter than my old one, but I kind of like it. About time I change my lip color anyway. 😀

I ran out of my Shiseido liquid foundation and Paul and Joe‘s powder foundation (which I absolutely adore!) and since I didn’t have time to go to Rustan‘s Makati (plus, they close at 9pm and I only get out of the office around that time most days), I had to make do with what‘s available at Beauty Bar. I thought, the lippies have worked wonderfully for me, so why not get a new foundation from them, right? 
Tada! Got me the Studio Skin liquid foundation and finishing powder. It‘s a tad expensive (I think the powder alone costs Php2950), but given the quality, I couldn’t really complain. The foundation gave me great coverage plus it’s easy to put on. I have brushes but I prefer using my fingertips. I read somewhere that it‘s actually better to do that since the warmth of your fingers heats the foundation and releases the colors, so it glides even more smoothly. My face looked dewy after, I didn‘t even need the powder
My bad though that I forgot to take look photos. I will do that in my upcoming blog entries which I will be posting miles away – yes, I am going on my third out of the country trip in a little over a quarter! It will be stressful, since it’s work-related but I hope I will have spare time to blog properly. 
*Smashbox is available at Beauty Bar stores. I usually get mine from their High Street, Bonifacio Global City or Trinoma branches.

Battling Skin Problems

Acne has always been one of my major problems growing up – I didn’t have very good genes (although come to think of it, my parents have clear skin), I didn’t have proper skin care (our school doctor referred me several times to dermatologists but my parents wouldn’t have any of it, they felt it was something I can work out on my own) and my own habits weren’t exactly commendable. But in any case, once I left my teens, my skin gradually cleared up, with only the occasional pimple or two when I’m stressed, or when I haven’t been sleeping well. 
A few months ago, my erratic sleeping pattern, and yes, stress, caused me to breakout in the most annoying way. I would get several pimples, cystic and otherwise, and they just wouldn’t stop coming. It wasn’t particularly bad but it’s been ages since I had more than two pimples at a time that it just felt alien. My lifestyle is particularly to blame although I somehow think the air at the office may also be the culprit (three of my teammates sharing the cubicle with me also ended up with breakouts in recent weeks). 
Panic set – in; after all, I had several travels this quarter plus a wedding to attend towards the end of the year and I just didn’t want those events recorded for life with my huge acne-filled face. I’m generally not vain, but sometimes, I just couldn’t help myself. 
So I turned to the one product (fine, this is one of two product lines – the first one would be SKII, which is unfortunately, not available locally) I will swear my skin on: The Body Shop’s Tea Tree range. I was in such panic mode I bought not just the usual tea tree oil which is used to dry pimples, but also the skin clearing lotion and pore minimizer.
Here’s my daily regimen (well, my regimen when I’m not too tired; if I am, I do only item a):

  • Cleanse – I use Shu Uemura’s cleansing oil followed by Neutrogena’s Fine Fairness cleanser.   
  •  Tone – Neutrogena’s Fine Fairness toner at night to lighten blemishes. 
  • Skin Treatment – I apply SKII Facial Treatment Essence all over my face and Burt’s Bees Naturally Ageless Intensive Repairing Serum around my eye area and laugh lines (trust me, it works wonders!) 
  • Moisturize – I guess most people put this in #2 or #3, but since I am now using The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Skin Clearing Lotion which has ingredients that dry pimples, I put this on towards the end. My skin feels tingly and smells minty (yes, I’m rhyming!) after. 
  • Others – This is an added step since I have also included The Body Shop’s pore minimizer to my routine. It’s really cool (literally) and it instantly mattifies oily skin. It’s also a bit tinted so if you have great skin, you will probably need only this plus a little blush and you’re good to go.

Before, my nightly routine was a – c at best (read: when I’m not too lazy or sleepy), but what with my recent bout with acne, I just had to step up my game. And what do you know? Practically overnight, my tea tree regimen has dried up my pimples! Talk about fast!

I am not getting any younger and my skin isn’t as resilient as it once was so I guess my rude awakening courtesy of adult acne has forced me to finally take skin care seriously. And yes, that includes using sunscreen regularly (I highly recommend Aveeno, especially for those with sensitive skin like me) and eating healthy food.


Daily Fashion: Ever New, Diva and Lush

I promised myself I won’t go shopping (I’m saving for a work-related trip later this month plus I’ll be going to the beach when I get back in Manila), but who can resist these beauties?

Anchor earrings and red enamel bangle from Ever New (one of my new favorite stores)

A few posts back, I mentioned discovering this Australian accessories store, DIva at Market Market and it’s also fast becoming my favorite store. They have all sorts of colors and really nice rings! Plus, their stuff are really affordable. Design-wise though, I still prefer the almost whimsical aesthetic of Accessorize.

We don’t have fall, but, I just had to get these fall-inspired items.

I’m  allergic to most scents, and many times, when I pass by Lush, I have to fight an irrepressible urge to sneeze. But sometimes, I just push my luck and enter the store, sniff around, leave, and come back to repeat the process. I do this to test my allergies – and so far, I am good with their Figs and Leaves, Rose, and Dirty soap variants. Which is good, coz I actually love them – they smell really nice (even hubby loves the Dirty soap – says he still smells himself even at the end of the day) and they don’t make me itch. It’s a big bonus too that they’re all handmade and natural, flown in all the way from Japan. 

I wasn’t such a big fan of their solid shampoo/conditioner (they lather nicely but I couldn’t stop sneezing whenever I smell my hair, which is like, all the time, right?) so I tried the liquid ones (and yes, I sniffed them many times before finally settling on these variants). The result? Love them both. The Rehab shampoo is minty  and it feels and smells cool! Plus, it’s easy to rinse and my hair is not so itchy anymore. The American Dream conditioner is heavenly: sweet vanilla smell and my hair feels so soft afterwards.

From top left: conditioner, shampoo, Dirty soap and Rose soap

They’re a bit pricey though, but given my super sensitive skin and nose, I’d gladly shell out money. I can’t exactly work properly when I’m sneezing and teary-eyed and itchy all the time, and no work=no dough, right? 😀