Hello Summer! Sharing Sizzling Giveaways for a More Beautiful You

It’s summer but I am slaving away at work more often than not T^T I cry for the fact that our internet connection at home isn’t good so I haven’t posted all my pictures from the Etude House Play House event just yet. *sigh*

Anyhow, so many things are happening this summer. Fabulous bloggers and one of my favorite brands are having their giveaways so I hope you find the time to check them out:

Shimmerjjang’s Giveaway with Makeup Hub by NC - I love Andy <3 She’s been so helpful to me when I just started out looking for good reviews of Korean makeup here in Tumblr. As a way to thank her readers, she’s holding a giveaway.  Check out the details because there are two ways to win!

The Beauty Junkee’s Grand 3rd Anniversary Giveaway - The lovely Martha of The Beauty Junkee is celebrating her 3rd anniversary and she’s got plenty of goods for her loyal readers and fans. :) I like her reviews because of the details. She includes price and where you could buy the items she reviews so it’s very helpful! Plus she’s so talented. Definitely worth reading, if you haven’t seen her blog yet.

Mich Eats and Shops Makeup Bonanza Blogversary Giveaway Part 2 - Mich is a blogger who shares her makeup finds and even her food adventures!  First encountered her blog when I was looking for coral colored lippies and now she has her blogversary giveaway. :3 The instructions are fairly easy to follow so I hope you could join this giveaway without a hitch. ;)

Snoe Suntervention Bloggers Competition - Get a fabulous trip to Boracay package by sharing your dream vacation destination and how Snoe's beautiful products will figure in that trip.  I love Snoe's products because they are affordable and effective.  (Remember my post about their Hair and Body Glaze?) Visit their website for the details of their products.  (Check out their sunblock line and Body Rituals line too!)

I am planning to join some (if not all!) of these giveaways myself. XD Here’s hoping to win something awesome and something I definitely need.  Hope you win too if you do join. :D

PS: Coming soon would be a couple of sunblock reviews. Snoe and Clinique!

On finding yourself and your inner beauty

I have to admit something: I am very insecure about how I look.

Funny how that sounds like because this blog is about skin care, makeup and things that make one’s self pretty.  Well, it does make sense that I am writing this confession to you. Some of you know me personally. Some of you just met me recently. Some of you met me when I was a teenager.

Thanks to M who boosted up my energy this morning when she complimented my latest profile picture on Yahoo Messenger.  She told me that I looked great and that it was good that I am learning to work with what I have.  It’s really hard to believe in one’s self when you wake up one day feeling like the ugliest person in the universe. (Melodramatic, but it does happen, doesn’t it?)  Feeling unattractive is something people of all shapes and sizes experience.  It could be because of what other people tell us or it could be because of something else.  In my case, I have been labeled as the fat girl when I was younger and it doesn’t help that I am still big and growing bigger each day.

That’s when fighting for yourself needs to happen.  You need to sort out the bad from the good.  J and I have been texting each other last night and she really did give me a sense of comfort.  Despite the fact that she’s younger than I am, when it comes to these things, I look up to her because she has that confident air about her. I think that’s one of the reasons I miss interacting with her more frequently: her energy is infectious! Just her hello is enough to send good vibes in this universe.  Because of that positive energy that she exudes, she is such a pleasure to be with. The simplest conversations could turn out to be the most inspiring ones.

But I digress.  One needs to find himself/herself and learn more about the things that make himself/herself unique. What is special about you?  Are you paying attention to yourself? Sometimes we’re too busy meeting deadlines, dealing with our clients, working ourselves to make sure we earn our keep.  We forget that we need to take care of ourselves in every possible way.  Are we still growing in terms of our character? Or are we stagnating?

I generally believe that when you are beautiful inside, you get to reflect that outside.  When we learn more about ourselves, when we allow ourselves to dream and pursue those dreams and achieve them, we gain confidence because of the little victories and the big victories we come across. Confidence does play a big part in giving out a beautiful aura which translates to something generally appealing to people.  You might not look like Ms. Universe, but you could still be the most charming person around if you let yourself shine.

The bad thoughts enter my head often these days. Maybe that’s part of the reason why I haven’t been blogging as much. But if I want to improve myself inside and out, I need to wrestle with those thoughts and win over them. And some of them, I need to embrace. Why? Because I think that some of those bad thoughts are partly correct: they might be about my weaknesses and so I have to embrace those weaknesses so I could deal with them accordingly.  If I want my inner beauty to shine through this madness I am experiencing right now, I need to face them one by one and just bring them out into the open. Well, not as openly as posting about all of them here. At least find someone I trust to talk to about them and not let the thoughts fester.  I need healing first.  Then I hope to gain the confidence that will help me become the better version of myself.

And if you’re struggling like me, I encourage you to sort things out and find help from people you trust a lot.  It will be better for you to find someone to lighten the burden. He/she could remind you of the good things in your life and show you what lessons you could gain from your experiences.  You don’t have to feel alone.  I hope that once you’ve started dealing with these things, you’d become a more confident person and a beautiful one too.

Post-Event Update: Snoe Suntervention Bloggers Convention

This is a rather photo-heavy post! Some pictures were taken using my phone, some were from the Snoe Beauty Inc.’s Facebook page and some are from Sofie’s friend Christian Amiel Tira. Image credit will be given where it is necessary. :)

Last March 24, I went to Snoe's Suntervention Bloggers Convention held in Dasmarinas Village.  Their twitter update encouraged bloggers to interact with them so I didn't hesitate and grabbed the chance.  After all, Snoe was the brand of sunblock I was using.  (I have yet to review “Here Comes the Sun” soon! Sorry about not blogging about it sooner.)
Image Credit: Snoe Beauty Inc.
Upon entering the premises, everyone is encouraged to register and we even get Snoe money after that. Snoe money was used later in the event. We were even given a chance to try their false eyelashes. 
I was one of the people who arrived early and I met Donnarence and Sofie. :) 
Image Credit: Christian Amiel Tira
We had a chance to chat a bit and meet other bloggers too. One of the people I wanted to meet after so long was there too! Guess who? Michelle Bugante of Mich Eats and Shops. :D  While waiting for the others to arrive, we had a chance to test out some of their products.
Snoe’s different products
 bb cream!
Body Ritual Recipes Body and Hair Glaze in Nectarine Ginger Tea
We had all sorts of games that day and I was called out for the first game. ^^;;;;;; The most awkward girl over there, I think. LOL. Because it was their launch for their latest product, SunTervention, we had to put sunblock on their male models. ^^;;;; Aiyeee~.  After a couple of games, the very beautiful CEO of Snoe talked to us about their latest products.  She was so lovely. My phone camera couldn’t capture her beauty.  We actually had other games too.  So it was actually a very fun and informative event, especially for those who are new to the brand. :)
Snoe’s CEO, Jen Gerodias-Diaz
I don’t remember everything from her talk.  But some of the highlights were:
  1. SunTervention - This is more intense than their “Here Comes the Sun” sunblock.  It offers SPF 80++ protection and it has a nice calamansi scent.  As she said in her talk, they’re serious about sun protection and that even in their packaging they usually remind their customers to use sunblock.  (It is true if you check their products.  Do drop by their shops to see what I mean.)
  2. Their latest products: CC cream :)  Something to watch out for, especially for bb cream fans.
  3. They will have more shops which will give their customers a better experience.  (I saw their post in the Snoe Facebook page of their store design in SM Valenzuela and it looked so pretty!)
  4. They have so many new products like a new variant of Hair Heroes, their Body Ritual Recipes Hair and Body Glaze, etc. That’s why you really just have to go visit their stores. :D
The great thing about this event is that I met so many new people.  It’s amusing how I have commented on some of their blogs already (way back) and I am even subscribed to some of them. ^^;  (Like Lucky Citrine, Carizza Chua, Codename Aya.) And of course I was happy to see Bec again (she’s ever so bright and sparkly!) and I was blown away by the loveliness of Martha and Shen. :) So it was really cool that way.  I even met some new people like Gen (such a creative lady and I hope she will succeed in what she plans to launch in the future!) and Nin.  I was lucky to have talked with some of them and I hope to lessen my shyness and awkwardness in future events or opportunities to see them again.
Anyhow, at the end of the event, we got a chance to spend our Snoe money on their products.

My Snoe money
Everything in this photo was bought using Snoe money except for SunTervention because they gave that to all of us who went there. So lucky~! Perfect for summer. :)
I’ve been using Suntervention on my face and my body these days.  Has this replaced “Here Comes The Sun”? Yes!  Why? I prefer the texture of this one. :)
So there you have it.  I have yet to post reviews on these wonderful products.  I was truly lucky to have been given an opportunity to be at their event because Snoe is surely one Filipino brand to watch out for.

Quick Review: Skin Food Black Sugar Mask (Wash Off)

I like Skin Food products because they work well on me. The first bb cream that really didn’t give me any issues was their Peach Sake BB Cream. :) Anyway, I was lucky enough to be picked by the beautiful blogger Des of Chic Sassy Mom and the products included were all from Skin Food so I got to try some of them including this wash off mask.
Sample size of the product. I used it 3 times. :)
Instructions from the Skin Food site:

Apply evenly after cleansing. Avoid eye and mouth area. Gently scrub and wash off with lukewarm water after 10 - 15 minutes.

Take note it says lukewarm water, not boiling water, not freshly boiled water either~! Don’t hurt your skin. I usually mix hot water with tap water and test first so it’s slightly warm but not hot. You get what I am saying? ;)

Texture: Yay!

It is thick and grainy, just like what I expected because it has sugar. Look at the pictures below.

It is thick and brown.
Spreadable~! And you could see the grains.
Some of you might fear that the grains are too big. I think that it was ok and it didn’t really hurt. I think the sugar kinda melted with the heat from my hands as I spread them. XD  So no worries on how big the grains are.
Scent: Yay!
It was kinda citrusy and sugary. I LOVE IT!  I wouldn’t mind using this mask regularly hahaha.
Effect: Yay!
My face felt really nice and clean.  Some bloggers said they looked like they had a glow after using it.  I couldn’t really tell because of the lighting at home.  But my face felt oh so fresh and clean.  It didn’t feel dry so I think that’s a good thing.  

Overall I was happy with this trial packet and I am considering to get this after I used up my exfoliating creams. Well, unless I end up too happy with my Human Nature Strawberry scrub that is!  I can’t comment on the packaging because it is different when you buy it full size.  I am also not sure of the cost when you buy it.  I think it’s around PhP 550 or something.  Not bad, considering that’s their mall price.   I am glad I had an opportunity to try this out for a week! Thanks again, Des! :)

Finally got Disqus!

I thought that maybe I would be ok with using Tumblr’s reply system but seriously, it’s not enough. And it’s easier to reply to other people’s replies using Disqus so it’s here! :) Hope you would find it convenient too.

Have a great week ahead! 

Via Yellowy Cream on You Tube: March Wish Box + a Giveaway!

Finally, someone has posted the details of the March 2012 Wish Box! Am I excited? I definitely am! Everything you need for your day to day makeup is in one cute kit: Klair’s bb cream, Ciracle finishing powder, Tony Tint, Skin Food eyeshadow duo and Nature Republic lip gloss. What’s not to love about it?  And the good thing is that Yellowy Cream on YouTube has a giveaway. ;)

I am definitely joining this giveaway because I’ve seen the update on the Wish Trend site and their Facebook page before.  If I get picked, I will be so happy because Klair’s and Ciracle both have products included there and I’ve been so curious about those brands. It also helps that my favorite brands Tony Moly, Skin Food and Nature Republic also have makeup included in this Wish Box! :)

I was right that Klair’s BB cream is included. Gosh. She said it’s her favorite bb cream right now so I do want to check that out. :) (The brand sounds like my name and so that must be part of the reason why I want to try it!) And the pouch is sooo lovely! I would definitely be proud to carry one with me.

If you’re excited about the Wish Box from Wish Trend,  check out the details of her giveaway on her YouTube video.  There will be four winners and you could join as a blogger or as a You Tube channel owner or as a subscriber.  Be sure to follow her directions carefully, ok?

Enjoy this video and good luck!

Stuff To Look Forward To: Eye Makeup from Luview

I really like the Korean brand Luview. :) Thanks to Shimmerjjang Andy for introducing this brand to me via her blog.  I really like one of their bb creams (Aqua Essence BB Cream), their mascara and their lip gloss~!  To know that they plan to release eye makeup makes me feel very excited too.

Last January, they posted a teaser of the eyeshadows that they plan to release. Here’s a picture:

(Image Credit: Luview)
So they are eye shadow trios! I have been wanting to learn more eye makeup techniques so I just got a basic palette from Shawill plus the one from Its Skin.  But the ones that I think would be great for everyday are from Luview.  See the mostly brown trio? The right-most one.  I am really looking forward to using that.  The other one that I might get is the second from the left. It has a really light pink and purple.  It’s either that or the left-most trio of pinks and a cream.  According to the Luview page for these eyeshadows, they are baked mineral eyeshadows so I expect them to be quite pigmented and good for using whether wet or dry.
(Image Credit: Luview)
Aside from eye shadow trios, Luview also plans to release eyeliner. Gosh. There’s a purple one! They say they will release four colors so I am wondering if the other one not featured is white.  But I am definitely looking forward to trying out one of these eyeliners.  Probably the purple one because if you use it on your lower lashline/waterline, it is said to bring out the brown of your eyes. ;)  They are supposed to be long-wearing eyeliners so I am definitely going to wait for these.
I am from the Philippines and I definitely wish these products would be more accessible when they are released. For now, I will gladly wait for their announcement on the Luview fan page and their official website.  They ship internationally, thank goodness! I better save up for these goodies, especially if they end up releasing them this summer. 

Review: Nanny Rose’s Waxing Starter Kit

Remember my post about the package from Amanda?  I have a bunch of products from ARD Organics, the makers of the Nanny Rose’s product line.  I have tried Nanny Rose’s Sticks & Pulls last year and I had an inconsistent experience with it.  Anyhow, Amanda advised me that it is best used as a hot wax so this is what I did this time around. My legs are so hairy and I really don’t like that so I decided to finally try this again after not shaving my legs for a couple of weeks just so the leg hair will all show up already (more or less) prior to waxing.  I used this waxing kit from Nanny Rose’s — it is made of Sticks & Pulls and the After Wax Salve.  
the boxes of the items that are part of the kit
details on the salve (includes ingredients, expiration date, manufacturer info)
details on the wax (includes ingredients, instructions, expiration date, manufacturer info)
So… this is the reason why I need to use these products:
Told you. I have a bad case of leg hair. ~_~ Thick, coarse leg hair. UGH.
Prior to waxing, I followed the instructions on the box: Washed my legs and made sure they were dry.  I also sprinkled some baby powder on both legs just to make sure they were dry.  Instructions also said that the wax should be heated up so I did that.  I had to let it cool down for around 6-10 minutes before I started using it because it kinda boiled in the microwave.  I am not sure if it being in an airconditioned room with an electric fan running helped in cooling down the product. I wouldn’t be able to use it otherwise.
Review of the Sticks & Pulls/Wax
Texture/Consistency - Yay!
When it is not yet heated, it is quite thick but not solid.  Maybe something like a really heavy and thick syrup.  But once you heat it up, it becomes more liquid.  I put it in the microwave for around 15 seconds, using the medium-high setting. It was easy to spread on my skin. There were no granules in the wax. I did recall reading somewhere that some folks experienced that there were granules in the wax.  Maybe they improved the formula for the product this time around. :)
Application - Yay!
When I spread it on my skin, it was a bit sticky but still easy to spread.  But as it became cooler, it became a little more difficult to spread thinly but it was still ok.
Scent - Yay!
It was kinda sweet but not overpowering. :) Pleasant smelling stuff always make it easy to work with them!
Removal Power - Yay!
I followed the instructions that I should spread it in the direction of the hair growth and pull against the direction of the growth.  It was easy and painless to remove the hair.  I just pulled and then saw the hair against the cloth.  I guess it helps that my leg hair wasn’t that short. XD
Applicator - Nay :(
I don’t know why but I think that the wooden applicators I got from before seemed sturdier.  I got the bigger jar of Sticks & Pulls last year and the sticks were much thicker and stronger.  The ones I got here were more brittle. :(  One of them broke while I was spreading the wax.  I don’t know if it’s because this is a smaller box and this is the kind of applicator that fit.  I want the other applicator — but I have the misfortune of having lost them. I think my mom threw them out thinking they were just sticks.
Cloth - Yay!
I really like the cloth that came with the wax. I think that it was sturdy enough.  And it didn’t feel scratchy against my skin.  I even cut the cloth into smaller squares so that I could easily use them.  Longer strips of cloth on bigger areas on my skin seemed harder to work with back then.  
The box of the wax, with the cloth strips and one of the sticks.

Packaging - Ok
It’s in a plain brown box which could keep your sticks and cloth when you’re not waxing.  The tub of wax is a microwavable one so you don’t need to worry about transferring the wax when you need to use it.  Plus the label does tell you when it would expire.  I think that’s something important.  Oh and one more thing: You probably need to remember to store the wax in the ref.  When I used one before, I forgot to store it in the ref and just kept it in the box on my desk.  But I ended up putting so much stuff on my desk and so I didn’t notice that the box was on its side and the wax seeped out. ~_~ Ants ended up crawling on my desk. Now my new small tub of this wax is in the ref.  

Overall - Yay!

I like it better this time around. Maybe my previous experience and what I’ve learned from that, as well as Amanda’s tips in using this wax has helped me remove my leg hair without pain.
 Review of the After Wax Salve

Texture/Consistency - Ok

It was more like a thick liquid rather than a cream so you could probably say it’s a little too runny?  It’s in a tub so I expected it to be thicker. But I guess it’s easier to spread that way.

Scent - Yay!
It was herbal and it faded fast enough that I didn’t think it was annoying.  I like things smelling nice or scentless when they are applied on my skin because I don’t want to smell bad stuff.
Soothing Effect - Yay!
I can’t judge it too much, I suppose, because it’s the first time I used a salve after waxing.  I am not sure if I will attribute not having chicken skin on my legs to this salve.  But maybe I could? I guess?  Before I wouldn’t use any salve after waxing. I would just wash my legs and then there would be chicken skin-like texture after waxing.  This time it was just smooth.
Packaging: Ok
I am not a big fan of the packaging because it’s in a tub.  Putting it in a tube like the other salves might be better. Or maybe it should be in a bottle so that it’s like a lotion.
My leg here does look much cleaner, doesn’t it? And no chicken skin effect!

Overall - Ok 

I am not sure how much this is but considering that the Sticks & Pulls is affordable, I would assume that this salve is.  And if I am right about it helping me avoid the chicken skin effect, this is a good product and I would consistently use it after waxing from now on.

I am still new at DIY waxing and I’ve only used products from Nanny Rose’s.  So far, my experience has improved because the leg hair removal was pretty much painless.  At the same time, I think that the salve might have helped in making my skin look better than what it usually did after waxing.  However, it might be said that the wax in the small might be only good for 2-3 waxing sessions if your leg hair problem is like mine.  Not sure how many uses other products are good for so I can’t really compare yet.  Also, you might want to try to get the bigger tub of wax because I think that its applicators are sturdier.  If they could include the same kind of applicator in the package of the smaller tub, it would be great.

Once again, thanks to Amanda for letting me try this product. :) It would surely help me prepare for my summer look with smooth hairless legs. ;)

PS: I think that Watson’s carries this brand.  After all, that’s where I got my first tub of Nanny Rose’s Sticks & Pulls.  Check it out if you became interested after reading this review.

Some thoughts about Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair

I got these samples from Estee Lauder Philippines. Got wind of these samples through my friend’s blog on Dolled Up and Down.  Turns out that my other friend Shimmerjjang Andy also tried it so I thought that there’s no harm in checking out this new product out there, considering there are free samples.  So I answered their poll on Facebook - and read other tips from various Estee Lauder fans.  (Some were quite inspiring!) Anyway, after getting my sachets of the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, I started using it.

The liquid was not thick. It was like the serums I’ve tried before.  And it was easily absorbed by my skin so that’s something comfortable to put on my face.  The scent was faint so it didn’t irritate my nose. BUT I suspect that this product wasn’t agreeing with my skin. :( Unlike other serums I’ve used before, they help me deal with pimples and keep my skin feeling fresh.  However, when I was using this, it seemed like my pimples just kept showing up.  I went to Hong Kong for 4 days so I was the lazy packer and didn’t include any skin care products in my carry on.  My skin became better.  But when I got back and started using this again for a couple of days, the pimples (especially below my chin) started showing up again and they’re quite big. UGH. Maybe it’s just me.  But I don’t think this product suits my skin. :( I am glad to have tried it through their samples and I do know it’s effective on other girls.  However, I will skip buying this and use another brand.  If there are any Estee Lauder products that I am curious about for future purchases it would be their lipsticks but for now, I won’t be getting other stuff any time soon.

Mirror of Yet Another Late Bloomer - a 30-something year old's blog on skin care and makeup.

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