Monday, June 30, 2014

Makeup Monday: Pond’s BB Cream vs Maybelline BB Cream: Which One is Right for You?


Even with the popularity of newer beauty products such as CC Creams, BB Creams still remain a must-have in many women’s makeup bags. To me, they’ve always been the primary product in my foundation routine, since I won’t have to apply a primer and a moisturizer anymore; thus, helping me save time especially when I’m running late for work. Occasionally, I still use a setting powder, depending on the BB cream brand I use. Most BB creams give a dewy look, which sometimes don’t look flattering on my oily skin.

But, the amount of benefits they offer truly compensate for whatever tiny issues I may have with them. Some, however, may be a bit pricier than others, especially Korean brands. Most of them may even be more expensive than liquid foundations.  And while they work really well to make up for their price tags, some of us may not have enough budget for constant restocking every time the tube runs out. Fortunately, some beauty brands have come up with their own more affordable but equally good versions. Here are two of my favorites -  Pond’s Flawless White BB+ and Maybelline Clear Smooth 8-in-1 Skin Transformer BB Cream.

First, here are some details on my skin type to guide you through my thoughts in this review:
Type: Combination to Oily
Foundation Shade: MAC NC15-20
Mid20s

Pond’s Flawless White BB+
Product Claims:
Has SPF 30 PA++
Has GenActive Cover Formula
Helps provide effortless natural bare-faced look
Instant natural coverage
Lightens from within

Pros:
Great Coverage; Works perfectly for skin with open pores and signs of acne scarring and skin discoloration
Dries to a matte finish; May work perfectly without a setting powder, but can also give a lightly dewy look when applied minimally
Lasts all day; May not give off a shiny look even after 8 hours
Has a bit higher SPF content than Maybelline’s
Has better range of shades for people with fair skin complexion
Does not give off a grey cast on the skin

Cons:
A bit difficult to blend due to its thick consistency; Application should always be with a brush, not fingers, to avoid tugging the skin
Only has two shades available; May not match those with darker complexion

Maybelline Clear Smooth 8-in-1 Skin Transformer BB Cream
Product Claims:
Has a perfect blend of 8 minerals ingredients
Its unique shade instantly improves and perfects the skin
Has visible whitening effect
Reduces the appearance of pores; skin redness disappears
Provides all-day hydration
Helps protect skin from UV rays and free radical

Pros:
More affordable than Pond’s
Easy to blend due to its “liquid-y” formula
Gives light coverage; ideal for those with minimal skin issues who don’t prefer thick consistency
Scentless; Perfect for people with sensitive skin


Cons:
Thin consistency; May not be suitable for those who wants good coverage
Only two shades available; the lighter shade may be a bit too dark for those with fairer complexion

Final Thoughts: While both work well beyond their prices, I tend to reach out more for my Ponds BB Cream simply because it matches my skin tone better. Maybelline’s BB Cream doesn’t oxidize enough to match my skin tone. And for days I feel like using it, I still need to mix it with a bit of a lighter liquid foundation or another BB cream to achieve my desired shade. Also, Pond’s BB cream gives me right amount of coverage I need for my everyday look, since I have a bit of acne scarring on my cheeks which I got from my bad-acne-phase as a teen.

You can read my previous Makeup Monday post here: What's in My Everyday Makeup Bag?

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Skincare Sunday: Defying Aging - When’s the Right Time to Bust those Miracle Jars?

Aging happens to everyone. It’s a natural human phenomenon, yet many seem woeful of the idea. I admit to feeling a bit worried as I reached my mid-20s, but then I learned to embrace the truth and just do what I can to make my skin as healthy-looking as possible.

Though it’s impossible to stop aging, it need not be a dreadful experience.Most people think you only need to begin using skin products once you start seeing lines and wrinkles. But, even with skin care, prevention is always the key, even with skin care. Many products are available in the market to address any skin issue, and the best anti-aging products need not hurt your budget.

Allow me to share some things I learned from a bit of research and derma consultation about keeping your skin in its best condition:

Women in their 20s

This is said to be the most important decade for the skin. While there’s no definite age to start any anti-aging efforts, think of having a skin care routine around this time. I began mine at 23. The biggest issue for some is getting rid of acne and oily complexion, while others may still suffer from occasional zits. Instead of worrying about wrinkles, lines, and loose skin, take some protective measures and stick with the basics of skin care. Build the foundation to your skin care routine, which you can modify accordingly as you get older. Choose a cleanser appropriate for your skin type –dry, oily, or combination, a toner, and a moisturizer with SPF 15 or 20 that has UVA and UVB protection.

Women in their 30s

In your 30s, signs of aging such as lines and wrinkles are most likely to appear. This is when you'll start noticing drastic changes in your skin. You may have taken proper care of your skin before, and spent a good amount of money on pricey products. But, entering your 30s means it needs more attention. You'll start seeing how those late night partying in your 20s affected your skin. But fret not, as you can solve these issues with some updates to your regular skin care routine. Apart from a moisturizer with SPF 15 or 20 with UVA/UVB protection, make sure it also has antioxidants. Don't miss an evening without doing your skin care routine. Don't go to bed with makeup on, no matter how tired you may be. In addition, start using an eye cream. Use your ring finger to apply it. Before going to bed, apply a night treatment that has retinol.

Women in their 40s

More signs of sun damage will start to get noticeable. You may start noticing dryness, uneven skin tone, and lack of elasticity and suppleness. No need to feel bad. After all, everyone suffers the same fate. What differs is only he extent of damage. Now, you should focus more on slowing down the inevitable process. I remember seeing my being even more fussy when it comes to her skincare when she reached the big 4-0. So, switch your gel cleanser into a creamy formula, and look for a moisturizer with at least two types of antioxidants. Follow your fixed routine religiously. At night, go for prescription retinoids. But, keep your application moderate, depending on whether your skin can handle the formula or not.

I have my mom as my best reference in what proper skincare can do for you in your later years. She’s 50 now, but she looks about 10 years younger. Her diligence truly paid off.

Still, the best way to keep a healthy skin is to maintain a healthy diet. It's hard, especially when all those juicy treats seem to be tempting us every minute. But, keep in mind that to be beautiful from the outside, you must begin from within. Doing so will surely make your skin stay in its best possible condition.

Note: I’m starting a simple series here in my blog where I talk about different beauty issues and other women-related topics such as makeup, hair, fashion, skincare, books, and even my favourite TV series (Game of Thrones!) and movies with a different theme every day. So, yeah. Hopefully, I can keep it up. Watch out for tomorrow’s Makeup Monday: Ponds BB Cream vs. Maybelline BB Cream - Which One is Right For You?  Thanks!

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Stash Saturday: Japanese Cosmetics Haul

During the two luckiest moments of my life – aka getting free trips to Japan – the one thing that was on top of my priority list (apart from hoarding back issues of Vivi Magazine) is to buy makeup products from Japanese brands. Before, I could only get my hands on them by ordering through Japanichi Shop – my trusted online store for all things Japanese beauty.

Now, I don’t have to go back to Japan just to stock up on my favorite products. A few years ago, popular Japanese cosmetics brands such as Majolica Majorca, Dolly Wink, and CANMAKE started making their products available to the Filipino market. I'm happy they've finally realized they have a strong audience base here.

I got most of these products from Matsumoto Kiyoshi, which is probably my most favorite cosmetic shop ever. They have everything from makeup, skincare products, hair dye, and other regular drugstore products. I remember being completely overwhelmed when I first visited one back in October 2013.

So, here are the products I hoarded, err, bought during my last trip to Tokyo:

Dolly Wink Products (Produced by Tsubasa Masuwaka)
Dolly Wink Eyelash Case in Pink
Dolly Wink Eyelash in No. 16 – Dolly Mix
Dolly Wink Liquid Eyeliner in Deep Black
Dolly Wink Black Mascara in No. 02 Volume x Liquid Eyeliner Set

CANMAKE Products
CANMAKE Day & Night Lip Serum
CANMAKE Transparent Finish Powder
CANMAKE Cream Cheek in No. 5 and No. 13
CANMAKE Liquid Eyeliner in Black
CANMAKE Nuance Eyebrow in No. 5
CANMAKE Cheek & Cheek in No. 06 (Pink)
CANMAKE Powder Cheeks in PW25 (Peach)
CAN MAKE Eye Nuance in No. 31

Majolica Majorca Products
Majolica Majorca Lash King in BK999 (Black)
Majolica Majorca Volume on Mascara in BK999 (Black)
Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Edge Meister in BK999 (Black)
Majolica Majorca Puff de Cheek in Raspberry Macaron (PK415) and Apricot Macaron (OR302)

Fake Eyelashes
Love Cherie by D.U.P Eyelashes (Koda Kumi Selection) in No. 01 – Glamorous Style
Dolly Wink Eyelash (Produced by Tsubasa Masuwaka) in No. 16 – Dolly Mix
Eyelash (Produced by Ayumi Hamasaki) in No. 04 – Gorgeous Days

Eyelash Cases
Pink Eyelash Case from Seria (100 Yen Shop)
Dolly Wink Eyelash Case in Pink

Other Products Featured
CANMAKE Strong Eyeliner in Super Black (Forgot to include it in the CANMAKE “group shot”)
Lavshuca Dressy Glow Cheek in RD-2
KATE Eyebrow Pencil in BR-4 (Brown)

I’ll be writing individual reviews on some of these products, so please watch out for them.

Note: I’m starting a simple series here in my blog where I talk about different beauty issues and other women-related topics such as makeup, hair, fashion, skincare, books, and even my favourite TV series (Game of Thrones!) and movies with a different theme every day. So, yeah. Hopefully, I can keep it up. Watch out for tomorrow’s Skincare Sunday: Defying Aging - When's the Right Time to Bust those Miracle Jars? Thanks!

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Fashion Friday: Wardrobe Essentials - Must-Have Jacket Styles for Every Woman

People who live in a tropical country rarely get the chance to play with clothing pieces usually associated with colder weather, such as jackets. At most, we make do with thin cardigans and blazers to look a bit more put together and, for practical reasons, lessen any skin exposure or achieve balance. Investing in timeless pieces is a good way to have go-to items for any occasion, and women’s jackets will always be among these many essentials. They’re not only practical to keep warm during the colder season, but they can also work as accents to complement any outfit.Look around for shops that offer as many styles, cuts, and colors as possible to make the shopping experience easier.
Here are some of the most versatile jacket styles I think every fashionista’s closet should have:

Parka

Common parka or winter jacket styles are waist-length onesor those that stretch down to the knees. They can be dressy, casual, sporty, and even rowdy. Choose the look that best suits your styling needs, and accessorize as needed.

Blazers

Blazers aren’t only suitable for work, as they can also be worn for fun night outs. They’re versatile pieces that can be dressed up or down, depending on the situation.Some designs include interesting patterns or even fake fur to draw more attention to the piece.

Jean Jackets

Jean jackets are perhaps the most indispensable essential jacket for women. Not only are they practical, but they can also be paired with anything for more versatile looks. Wear them with light, floral dresses for an interesting contrast during those cool summer nights, or add a circle scarf and hat when it gets a bit colder.

Classic Trench

There’s no need to freeze for the sake of fashion of you can classic trench coats that give you an instant glam and effortless look. Coats like these that cinch the waistline is an ideal addition to your wardrobe if you live in places with unpredictable weather.

A Bright-Colored Coat

Put on a coat in any vibrant color to complement your red lipstick and look even more livelier. Choose a piece in your most flattering hue and match it up with all your best dresses and skirts or even pencil cut jeans.

Note: I’m starting a simple series here in my blog where I talk about different beauty issues and other women-related topics such as makeup, hair, fashion, skincare, books, and even my favourite TV series (Game of Thrones!) and movies with a different theme every day. So, yeah. Hopefully, I can keep it up. Watch out for tomorrow’s Stash Saturday - Japanese Cosmetics Haul. Thanks!

Non-Sponsored Post.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

TV Thursday: Game of Thrones Season 4 Finale – “The Children” (Part 1)

I had a few posts a couple of years ago about this show (mainly talking about my love for Daenerys and her style), but I haven’t really written anything proper to express my absolute obsession with this series. I’ve been obsessed with so many Japanese dramas in the past, but this is the first time I became completely hooked with an American production.

So, season 4 has recently wrapped up (and I’m more than a week late for this post), and it’s going to be another long wait before the fifth season. The waiting period in-between seasons is still fun though, especially when casting news comes out. Anyway, there’s so much to say about the entire season, so I’ll just focus on the finale instead.

Disclaimer: I think of myself as a “semi-sullied” — someone who has read the books only once and not really that privy when it comes to details (It’s a crime, I know). So, forgive me if I miss anything important. Also, it may contain a bit of spoilers.

I got a bit carried away with this post, so I’m dividing it into two parts.


Scene #1: Jon faces Mance… and Stannis comes to the rescue!
 Beautiful army!
Okay, so I was one of those who was waiting for the Stannis moment to happen in the ninth episode and got a bit disappointed when it didn’t. But placing the scene in the finale made a lot more sense, and much longer, better screen time for The Mannis. There’s more interaction with my Jon and more tough-guy-meets-another-tough-guy banter with Mance, which wouldn’t have been effective if they cramped them up in the previous episode after an intense battle. Stannis truly made good use of that money he got after that trip to the Iron Bank of Braavos. That was a beautiful army he’s got there — definitely better than the one he had during the Blackwater. I particularly loved that bit when the One True King and the Onion Knight sort of came out from smoke. Very dramatic. He’s indeed a ham, Renly. A badass ham!

It was also nice to see Mance once again. He’s one of the characters in the show that’s criminally underused despite how much he was featured in ASOIAF. And as lenient as I am with the adaptation (I’m well aware of the limits), they truly failed to develop this character for him to make the exact same impact he had on the books. But, Ciaran Hinds is great in this role despite the minimal screentime.
 Ciaran Hinds as Mance Rayder

Scene #2: Qyburn starts doing his “magic” on the fallen Ser Gregor; Queen Cersei agrees, and Pycelle is pissed!
"Will it weaken him?"
 
 "Oh no."
"Well, then. Let's make a creep out of him."

This scene is pretty much a confirmation that we’ll see RS (yup, not LS) in the coming season. So, I’ll look forward to that. And, it’s been more than a week, but every time I remember that close-up shot of Ser Gregor’s infested wound, I get sick to my stomach. Thanks a lot, HBO!

Scene #3: Cersei confronts Papa Tywin, drops the bomb!
“I will burn our HOUSE to the ground before I let that happen!”
 "Really, now."

“I will burn our HOUSE to the ground before I let that happen!” I love Lena’s delivery of this line, especially how she enunciated the word “house” (I’m weird like that). That was so powerful! She’s willing to use all her cards just to not make her supposed marriage with Ser Loras happen, so she can look after her only son. Good thing for her, she won’t know the repercussions of that revelation anymore, at least where Lord Tywin is concerned.

A Tidbit for the Unsullied: In the books, Lord Tywin was planning to marry Cersei off to either one of these dudes –Wilas Tyrell (Ser Loras’ crippled older brother whom they omitted in the show; the real heir to Highgarden), Balon Greyjoy (Theon’s dad. Haha. How fun would that be for her.), and Oberyn Martell (That would have been a treat to see onscreen considering how seemingly close Lena and Pedro had become during/after the show).

Scene #4: Cersei manipulates Jaime again 
Yes, I used the word “manipulate” because that’s exactly how I see it. As much as I like Cersei as a character (Yup!), I don’t really think she has genuine feelings of love for Jaime. Maybe she does love him, but not as much as he loves her. The only thing that makes the incest less abominable for me is that Jaime isn’t simply consumed with lust. He really does love his twin sister as a woman. But no. Incest is still very bad. Very.

Scene #5: Daenerys realizes the hardships of being a queen, chains her beloved babies
 "Mama?"
The dad who presented his burnt daughter to the queen was absolutely brilliant! He acted the heck out of that scene, and I teared up like a baby. That was one of if not the best acting performances from a series extra I’ve seen so far. I was extremely moved in that less-than-a-minute-scene.

Poor Rhaegal and Viserion, though. When they started wailing after Daenerys turned her back against them, I cried again. But I feel worried for the size of the chains, really. I mean, if Daenerys plans to lock them down there for quite some time, won’t the chains hinder their growth? Remember China’s Lotus Feet? Anyway, I really need to read the books again to remember what actually happened to them.

I do think this was Daenerys’ most boring season so far, which is a shame since she’s had one of the strongest storylines in the first three series. But of course, if a character’s storyline is that strong early on, you’ll expect it to dwindle down a bit right in the middle. It just can’t be helped, I think. And I’m still bummed that they cut off that stolen kiss from Ser Jorah. That would’ve made this season at least a bit more interesting for her.

But there are some exciting stuff happening to her in the upcoming season, so that could offset whatever boredom I felt while watching her during Season 4. And yes. She’s still one of my favorite characters.

Scene #6: The Night’s Watch Funeral – Melisssandre sees Jon “through the flames;” Jon burns the love of his life

 I love Maester Aemon.
 Pyp! :(
 Grenn! :(
 The Real Royal Family
That peek through the flames between Jon and Melissandre was some great foreshadowing right there. I’m really excited about this arc in the upcoming season, not only because Jon is my favorite character (duh!), but also because we’re about to enter the most interesting parts of his storyline.
I never really like Ygritte in the books (because I’m a jealous Jon Snow fan. lol!), but Rose Leslie made it so difficult for me to hate the character in the show. When I first saw her during the second season, I was like, “Dang! She’s so pretty. How can I hate her?” Haha.

As much as Ygritte’s death is crucial to Jon’s development  as a character, it’s still one of the saddest moments for me. I’ll miss hearing “You Know Nothing, Jon Snow.” But, well, it won’t be for long. *winks*

Scene #7: Bran and company meets Leaf and Bloodraven; Bye, Jojen!
When they first showed Leaf, the Children of the Forest’s rep, my initial thought was, “Wow! Is she wearing haute couture?” Haha. I swear, it’s like she’s off to some fashion show wearing a soiled yet well-crafted dress.
And THAT HAIR. So fierce.

While I was quite impressed with how Leaf, looked, I was rather disappointed with the Bloodraven. While reading the books, I imagined him to be a lot older and, well, creepier. Instead of having the tree’s branches grow within his body (at least that’s how I envisioned him to look like), it looked like he was simply trapped among those woods. Hopefully, they give him a good makeover next season.
Many of the book fans were not impressed with the CGI for this scene. They thought the skeletons looked tacky, and the fireball-throwing Leaf a little too “fantasy-like.” I wasn’t really bothered with the fireballs (though it’s ironic how GRRM wanted to get rid of these fantasy stereotypes yet the TV adaptation heavily features them), the skeleton fighters confused me. If I remember correctly, Bran and gang were ambushed by an army of Wights. I thought I’m already quite familiar with those residents North of the Wall (Wights, White Walkers, Others, Wildlings, etc.), but what were those skeletons? Who/what were they supposed to be? Why did they come out of the snow? Because for a casual viewer, that probably looked like they were guards of the Bloodraven. And clearly, they weren’t, after Leaf fireballed the heck out of them.
And boy, the way Jojen was killed felt so rush. As one of the only two actors who’s easily recognizable in the show (at least to the international audience; the other being Sean Bean, of course), I expected Thomas to have more screentime. But again, he was another criminally underused actor in the show. But for whatever bits he was given during his stint, he gave the best performance he could. So, kudos to him!

There are three more scenes left, and those contain the “meaty” parts of the finale. So, I’ll reserve my thoughts on that for another 1,500-word entry. lol.

Valar Morghulis!

Note: I’m starting a simple series here in my blog where I talk about different beauty issues and other women-related topics such as makeup, hair, fashion, skincare, books, and even my favourite TV series (Game of Thrones!) and movies with a different theme every day. So, yeah. Hopefully, I can keep it up. Watch out for tomorrow’s Fashion Friday - Wardrobe Essentials: Must-Have Jacket Styles for Every Woman. Thanks!
 

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