Thursday, September 30, 2010

Maybelline 8-in-1 B.B. Cream

maybelline 8-in-1 bb cream, by bitsandtreats

I’ll get right to it. This product does nothing for me. I’d still go for my TFS makeup base and liquid foundation.

I don’t get sufficient coverage with this B.B. cream. This is the first BB cream that I’ve tried and I was disappointed. If I put too much, I look too white. If I put just enough, it’s as if I just applied powder.

maybelline bb cream, by bitsandtreats

I’ve been using this almost everyday for a month now and I can’t wait to finish it up so that I can go back to TFS.

The first time I used this, I developed a couple of rashes. My skin eventually got used to it. The consistency is too thin/watery for me. Are all BB creams like that? It also doesn’t help that it dries up fast so I have to spread and blend fast. I can’t use a sponge to apply this because the product just ends up in an ugly mess on my face. What I do is I apply a small amount on a sponge then dot it around my face then use a foundation brush to spread and blend.

maybelline bb cream on hand, by bitsandtreats

Here are the swatches:

maybelline 8 in 1 bb cream swatch, by bitsandtreats

maybelline bb cream swatch, by bitsandtreats

It looks the same on my face. It disappears after a while then I get oily. I can’t vouch for the other benefits that this BB cream promises because after a month of usage, I didn’t notice any difference.

I  have been quite apprehensive to purchase this for a while. Good thing it was on sale at Php250 when I finally decided to try it. I think it’s still Php250 at Watsons and Beauty by SM.

Have you tried the Maybelline BB Cream? Did it do wonders for you? Share!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Estee Lauder Experience

Here are my thoughts on my Estee Lauder experience.

First, the invitation and the contact person. Ms. Liz was very accommodating and very patient in answering my questions. She has the initiative to ask if I wanted PR’s about their products. She was very nice and the follow ups were greatly appreciated.

Now we go to the event itself. I didn’t expect one of the SA’s to be a bit of a snob. That was the first time I’ve experienced something like that at the Estee Lauder counter in Rustan’s. I always drop by there to see if the new products from abroad are already there and most SA’s I’ve encountered were quite cheerful and pleasant, always smiling even if I’m not going to purchase. For that particular SA, it’s okay though. I’ve encountered worse.

I was impressed with their products and services, especially the personalized services which are translated into Chinese, Korean and Japanese. I was even more impressed with Minette’s product knowledge. Apparently, they undergo training every 6 months. Hear that beauty consultants? Every 6 months and not just once. That’s how you get to be so articulate and so skilled and not like the other SA’s from other brands who are clueless about the products they’re selling.

personalized services from estee lauder, by bitsandtreats Talk about customer service

Another thing that gave Estee Lauder an edge is their iMatch service. There may be other brands out there who help you determine your correct shade or help you figure out the colors that are most flattering on your skin tone but this simple tool is absolutely a great idea.

estee lauder imatch shade finder, by bitsandtreats

You actually get your perfect shade without the SA second guessing. Just see which shade disappears on your skin and voila, you’ve got the perfect foundation!! And after that, you also get a swatch of all the lip and cheek colors that match you perfectly.

lips and cheeks cool swatch, by bitsandtreats

lips and cheeks and eyes swatches, by bitsandtreats

warm eyes swatch, by bitsandtreats

I’m also glad that they’re not stingy with their techniques. Minette taught me simple techniques that really work. I’ve been using those techniques since Sunday and I’ve noticed that makeup lasts longer and I look more put together.

The people in Estee Lauder are quite an attractive, accommodating and very lovely bunch. They’re always smiling and they don’t judge you for what you’re wearing. Oh, except for “that girl”. There were many instances when I’ve taken my business elsewhere just because a sales attendant gives me a one-over (looks at you from head to foot) then leaves looking annoyed.

The gift, on the other hand, was put together nicely, was well thought out and was very generous. I’ve said this several times before but don’t you just hate it when companies give away samples that last for only 1-2 applications? How in the world are you going to see the effects? Estee Lauder gave me trial/full sized versions of their different products. The gift deserves its own post so I won’t be talking too much about that anymore.

Finally, the makeup and skin care. I did break out into a few rashes a few minutes after application. They quickly disappeared when I washed my face that night. Guess my face needs a lot of getting used to this brand. The lipstick didn’t last that long especially while we ate. I understand that this is not a long lasting lipstick but there are cheaper brands out there that are not long lasting but stay put even when I eat.

The foundation was a perfect match for my skin but I got a comment from my mom only yesterday that I looked dark in that foundation. So, my acidity kicked in. Perhaps Minette forgot about that tiny detail. Of course, I won’t be able to vouch for the effectiveness of the skin care line as it was only applied once on my face.

They employ very good hygiene practices when handling makeup and tools. They sanitize each tool before using on a client. They also use disposable stuff when needed. I don’t like trying on makeup from counters because of the “eeeeww” factor. With Estee Lauder, I felt safe.

Overall, I’d give my experience a 4 out of 5 stars. It’s not perfect because MB forgot to get our cupcakes and he was sulking throughout our time in the mall. = ) 

estee lauder cupcakes, by bitsandtreats

Stay tuned for a mini tour of the Estee Lauder counter plus a sneak peek of the October Blockbuster.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Great Finds For Your Laptop

This is probably one of my best buys for my laptop:

cd-r king laptop in bed table, by bitsandtreats CD-R Laptop Table

Please excuse the blurry pic.

Now I can have breakfast in bed and have my laptop too! I asked MB to buy this for me for days when I am bed-ridden. It’s especially useful now that I spend a lot of time  working in bed. The part where the laptop is on, rises, making the laptop incline. I prefer it flat. That’s a built in mouse pad. Meanwhile, you can put your drinks on the upper portion and the table also has a built in fan and USB plug. I don’t use the fan because I have 2 fans on when I’m working in bed. Plus, I think that it’s such a fuss. The legs can be adjusted too to make the table higher. It’s very easy to store as it folds up like a book. Really cool, I tell you. If you like working in bed, this is a must-have. It costs Php680 at CD-R King. I also use this when I have to eat lunch or dinner in bed so that’s cool too. This can only handle up to 15” laptops though. Anything bigger than that then the table might collapse. Good thing Coco is light and slim!

This next one is pretty common but I believe this is a good buy for the price of Php150.

screen and keyboard cleaner Screen and Keyboard Cleaner from Electroworld

We scoured Parksquare for a good cleaner that’s affordable and I really couldn’t believe the prices of other brands out there! This is the cheapest so we got this. It does its job well plus it has 2 chamois, a spray cleaner and a brush for the keyboard. Not bad for Php150. Bought this in July.

How about you? How do you take care of your laptop?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Yup, My Mom Was Right!

Wow.. I have to say that I really had a fabulous Saturday! We slept in, had a late breakfast, lounged around, took a nap, a bath and went to the mall. We had lunch at Mr. Jones in Greenbelt which I will review in my food blog. Then off we went to Rustan’s for the Estee Lauder event.

My mom has been a loyal Estee Lauder user for as long as I can remember. She uses the skin care products, makeup and perfumes. When I was a kid, I especially liked looking at the colorful makeup palettes and at the same time, keeping a good distance away from the fragile-looking bottles of Lauder in her vanity.

For me, Estee Lauder will always be a brand that exudes elegance, class, maturity and wisdom because that’s how I see my mom. My mom uses other products too but I guess Estee Lauder will always have its own home in her vanity.

Because of my perception of the brand, I shied away from it (except for the perfumes) thinking that I should explore makeup and skin care brands targeted to my age. Even though I don’t use the brand, I still like looking at their products on their website. I’m also a subscriber of their newsletters for the past 1 1/2 years. They have beautiful products and just looking at them relaxes me and brings back wonderful childhood memories.

A few weeks back, I saw an invite for their Rustan’s Makati event. It’s open to the public so I immediately RSVP’d to Ms. Liz. Because of my subscription, I know for a fact that they have new products targeted to the younger generation. Finally, a chance to try Estee Lauder!

The event was at 4 pm, I got there at 5 minutes before 4. I went inside their counter and asked one of the SA’s if I can take pictures of their products for my blog. I also asked if Ms. Liz was already there. She gave me the hand (you know, like talk to the hand) and said, “sandali ha?” So okay, she was busy with a foreign client but there were other SA’s around and she could have asked one of them to accommodate me. And I always find SA’s who give their customers “the hand” rude. Her tone didn’t help either. Seeing that Ms. Liz was not around, MB and I wandered off to the perfumes section. We returned after about 10-15 minutes.

This time around, I didn’t approach any SA’s. I just looked at the new line of Pure Color Lip Glosses and this Beauty Specialist named Minette approached me and asked if I wanted to try the gloss. I told her no, thank you and that I was looking for Ms. Liz. She immediately asked for my name and handed me a gift from Ms. Liz and Estee Lauder. I asked permission to take pictures and she said yes. After that, she asked if I wanted to try their skin care line. I said, why not.

Estee Lauder has personalized service for everyone, not just bloggers. The first is a beauty consultation.

personalized services from estee lauder, by bitsandtreats  
She asked for my primary concern about my skin. She also asked what type of skin I have. I told her that now that the ‘-ber’ months are here, my skin is starting to dry up. She then presented me with:

estee lauder hydrationist line, by bitsandtreatsEstee Lauder Hydrationist Line 

She said that with regular, continuous use, my skin’s condition would improve by 85%. I believed her because I’ve seen that result on my mom. Then off we went for my mini makeover. I say mini because we only did the 2-minute Touch Up Program.
 my before face, by bitsandtreats
My ‘before’ face

First, she removed my makeup using the Take It Away Total Makeup Remover. This is a very gentle and very nice smelling makeup remover. It also helped that Minette has very soft, very gentle hands. I was able to relax immediately.
 estee lauder take it away gentle cleansing milk, by bitsandtreats
Take it away! 

After that, she prepped my skin with:

estee lauder hydrationist moisturizer, by bitsandtreats

Getting prepped. (Please don’t hit me! Haha!)

Then she went on to determine my skin tone. At this point, I told her that I was acidic. She used a chart to get my powder foundation match – 3, Warm..

estee lauder imatch shade finder, by bitsandtreats

Here are the swatches:
 imatch skin tone swatch, by bitsandtreats
 That’s My Shade…I’m too yellow..

She applied the foundation liberally all over my face. In the process, I learned some nifty tricks on foundation application. I guess I really need a big fluffy brush to get the job done and get the job right.

2-min touch up, by bitsandtreats 
She then applied a combination of blush and highlighter on my cheeks. Minette said that blush application should start from the part of your cheek that’s directly to the middle of the ear. Swipe the blush once or twice then blend using quick diagonal strokes then blend the lower part by using quick strokes from left to right (vice versa), side to side. I didn’t get the name of the blush but it was really gorgeous. They have two shades of that.I have a thing for two-toned, mosaic or multicolored blushers that serve as a highlighter, blusher and bronzer all in one.

blushed, by bitsandtreats 

Next, she applied several coats of lipstick and topped it with gloss. This is also a new trick that I’ve learned – applying several coats of lipstick to make it last longer and make the color more vibrant. I always stop at 2 or 3 but now I know better. On the other hand, the Pure Color Lip Gloss is great. I really don’t like gloss because it feels like I have oil on my lips but their lip gloss is different. It feels like regular lipstick.

At this point, the 2-Minute Touch Up Program was done but Minette asked if I wanted some eye color. Because I’m having dry eyes again, I just asked her to teach me some techniques. She actually thought that I didn’t like applying eye shadows/color on my lids. If only she knew the color combinations I wear on weekdays. Teehee.. Oh, she also groomed my brows.
So, she taught me this trick of combining eye liner and concealer. Just spread some eyeliner on the back of your hand, then apply some liquid concealer and blend, blend, blend. This will make a very good base for your eyeshadow. The colors will be more vibrant and will definitely pop out. I’ve seen this technique in one of Tom Pecheaux’s tutorials and the result is amazing. He only used one color for the models of the Alexander Wang show but their eyes were full of life, full of drama.

estee lauder liquid concealer and eyeliner, by bitsandtreats

Another trick that she taught was combining eye moisturizer with liquid concealer. I heard in one of the videos  at the Estee site that all their products are quite versatile and can be used in combination with other products in a number of different ways. I sure saw that being demonstrated right before my eyes and now I’m a believer. She applied this mixture to my under eye area to conceal some slight darkening. It was really good although I noticed some creasing when I got home.

That was the end of the makeover and I proceeded to asking some more questions about their products. Stay tuned for Part 2 of my Estee Lauder Experience.

2-min touch up done, me and minette,  by bitsandtreats 2-Minute Touch Up Done!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pay Less?

I’m so sorry for not being able to post regularly. I’ve been super duper busy this week, going in and out of the hospital for my labs. I’ve been advised to take a week’s rest as I lost 7 pounds! And all along I thought I had gained a few pounds. That explains why my jeans keep falling.

So about 2 or 3 weeks ago, my best friend and I went to the opening of Payless Shang. (If you’re not familiar, Payless is like the Forever21 or SM of shoes in the States). She’s so crazy about Payless shoes. I had mixed feelings though. I’ve already checked out the shoes in Mega and I almost bought a pair several times but ended up not buying because there was no stock left or there was a problem with the shoe, etc.

At Shang, I couldn’t resist and bought:

my payless shoes, by bitsandtreats Payless Shoes

I badly need flats as my scolio, etc. can’t handle heels anymore. It’s very hard for me to buy shoes, y’all know that so I grabbed these three immediately. The prices range from 795-995 pesos. And because of that, I got a canvass tote as a freebie:

i heart shoes canvass tote from payless, by bitsandtreats Payless I Heart Shoes Canvass Tote Bag (Free for every Php2500 purchase)

My friend and I bought 4 pairs of shoes together and I asked the manager if we can have another bag because my friend really wants one. Well, they didn’t budge. It’s just a canvass bag and it’s the store’s opening for Pete’s sake! We were there at 10:30 a.m.! We bought more shoes than the other customers! If Kris Aquino were to ask for an extra bag, I’m pretty sure they’ll give it to her in a heartbeat. Seriously, if I were the manager/marketing manager, I’d give another one of these totes. It’s great for marketing and you gain loyal customers and these loyal customers will spread the word. 10 new buying customers or one canvass tote is a no-brainer. And do you know what else they told us? Buy more shoes! Geez! We already had a hard time carrying our loot and they want us to buy more shoes?? Do they even buy 6 or 8 shoes in one go (alone, commuting and will be doing some more shopping)? My friend was pretty disappointed that day.

Enough about that and on to the shoes. The shoes are pretty as you can see. The quality is no different from the shoes manufactured here. Perhaps our shoes are even better. These were made in China and Vietnam, I think. But, and here’s something that you should know if you’re planning to buy these kinds of shoes at Payless – they hurt like hell! Yes, they’re flats but they sure did a number on my feet. I’ve been wearing these shoes for about 2 weeks now and they still hurt. I still have band aid on my feet. Even with gel protection, the shoes still hurt as the lining is pretty rough. The worst pair is the brown one. It hurt my feet all over. At least the flats only hurt the back of my feet, down the ankles. The brown one made my feet feel all caged up in thorns. Good thing I only wore it on my way to work and on the way home. I wore my slippers in the office.

The price is good, the looks are good but the performance gets a failing grade. My shoes are now quite tolerable but I still put band aids on. I tried wearing the zebra striped one without band aids and it rubbed the back of my feet pretty bad. So I guess I’ll be wearing band aids longer. The blue one is better now, though. Will I buy there again? I am 80% sure that I won’t. But, I’m still a girl and I like pretty things so that’s the other 20% that might give in. I still recommend our local brands for affordable, comfy shoes. Yes, Payless shoes are affordable but what comes with the price is not worth it. If you take into consideration all these factors, are you really paying less? I’d rather buy shoes from our local brands as they have the same prices anyway, but with better quality.

Been to Payless lately? What’s your shoe story?

We Need More Winners!

Dear Kind Readers,

Please be reminded that we still have an ongoing giveaway at 240 baons + 365 meals. Visit the blog now!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cheap Beauty Finds

I like to scour Watsons and the health and beauty section of the Landmark every chance I get. I also like wandering around Saizen. I like discovering new things. The first two have been with me for ages now but it’s only recently that I got to use the first one:

fanny serrano by f21 cosmetics eyelash curler refillFanny Serrano Eyelash Curler Refills 

pumice sponge, by bitsandtreats 
Pumice Sponge

I’ve had a bad experience with the Fanny Serrano Eyelash Curler so I didn’t have high expectations for the refills. I bought one because ELF does not sell refills. So far, it does its job well. I think the real problem was the curler itself. For the price of Php45, I’m not complaining. It’s a bit too small for the ELF curler though in terms of length but it’s okay. It’s still usable.

The pumice sponge on the other hand is something that I’m very happy to have as I can get OC with these things. I got impatient and annoyed with my first pumice stone as I couldn’t tell if it was time to replace it. The moment came when it cracked. This pumice sponge however, gets smaller every time I use it. It’s also easier to clean. If bits of foot scrub get stuck in the sponge, I just scrape the sponge with a knife or a pair of scissors and it’s clean again. This costs Php50 at Landmark.

saizen princess eye mask in pack, by bitsandtreats Saizen Princess Eye Mask

saizen princess eye mask, by bitsandtreats

This third one is one of the pretty finds I mentioned in my Saizen spree post. The other pretty find deserves a post of its own so please be patient about that.

I’ve been looking for a cheap eye mask for quite some time now.  I’m very photo (light) sensitive and it’s hard for me to sleep while the lights are still on. I’ve seen cute ones from Tickles but they’re too expensive for me. This one from Saizen is only Php85 and suits me just fine. The problem is, in all the times that I’ve used this, I’ve had nightmares too! (yikes!) And not just ordinary nightmares. Nightmares that wake me up in a cold sweat. So now, I’m quite scared to use this again.

What are your cheap beauty finds lately?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Of Busy Days and Light Toners

I soooo miss blogging! I’ve been very busy since last week and I expect to have a ton of work ahead of me so please bear with me if I get a little late on my posts.

I’ve been putting off reviewing this product because first, I needed at least a month to test it out and second, I just didn’t feel that it was the right time to blog about it. Now that I’m so busy, I appreciate this product even better and I can say that I can really see how effective this product is.

I swore never to use toners again but after so many years of doing it everyday for my beauty regimen, I couldn’t help but go back on my word. My face just doesn’t feel the same without a swipe of toner.

nivea visage refreshing toner, by bitsandtreats Nivea Visage Refreshing Toner

I was drawn to this toner because of its see-through packaging. I like seeing how toners look. It’s a quirk of mine. Plus, the whole look just makes me feel like it’s such a very light, very cool and of course, refreshing toner. It makes me want to believe that it will really refresh my skin.

I have sensitive skin but I only saw this normal to combination skin variant so I got it. Anyway, it’s just a cleansing toner so I thought that there’s no harm in trying it.

On the first couple of weeks, I didn’t notice any difference. I actually felt a little bit itchy after I applied the toner. But now, after one month, I can truly say that my face feels cleaner and lighter. I say lighter because there’s less oil and it just feels really light, like my pores got unclogged or something. I’ve noticed that I get lesser breakouts and pimples even when I’m going to have my period. I usually get at least 3 pop out on my cheek when it’s almost time but this month, only one popped out and it healed quite fast. I guess my combination of facial care products also helped a lot. No more nasty rashes!

Being up late and stressed out also makes my skin breakout. So far, I haven’t had a single zit since my period and I’ve been pretty stressed lately.

The scent is mild, as with all Nivea products that I’ve tried. The scent is very close to the that of their moisturizer.

To quote Nivea, “The cleansing formula respects the skin’s natural moisture balance while keeping skin fresh and supple all day long.” I absolutely agree. I apply this with a cotton pad and afterwards, I can see that it’s not as “dirty” as with other toners that I’ve tried. I read an article that says the “dirt” that we see on the cotton pad is actually oil because facial washes no longer leave any residue so the toner just gets all the oil. And sometimes that can be bad. I think, what this Nivea Visage toner does is it takes out the extra oil and the deep seated dirt because my face doesn’t feel tight afterwards. It leaves my face with the necessary amount of oil. With other toners, Eskinol for example, my face feels tight and dry then afterwards, my face gets so oily. With Nivea, I don’t get that feeling thus my face doesn’t go on overdrive in producing oils to maintain its elasticity.

I only use this in the morning for my after-bath ritual but I’ve seen and felt the difference in one month. I’m going to try the other Nivea toners when I finish this. In my opinion, this is a great buy and a really good way to gently clean my face.

The Nivea Visage Refreshing Toner costs less than Php200 and is available at your favorite beauty station.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Super Moisturizing Body Wash

This is the best moisturizing body wash I’ve tried so far and believe me when I say I’ve tried many:

st. ives renewing collagen elastin moisturizing body wash, by bitsandtreats St. Ives Renewing Collagen Elastin Moisturizing Body Wash

About 5 years ago, I was hooked on St. Ives Energizing Body Wash but after a year, they pulled it out. It’s only recently that I began seeing it again. I guess they repackaged.

After using Grape Bella, I looked for a body wash that’s always available. After all, Grape Bella is a limited edition thing. My search led me to St. Ives again.

I love the size of this body wash plus I only need to use a little so this bottle really goes a long, long way. I’ve been using this product for 1 1/2 months now and I can definitely see the improvement in my skin. I can skip the lotion when I’m at home whenever I use this. I feel that there’s a thin layer of lotion covering my skin after I take a bath, which lasts the whole day (or night) until I take a bath again. Although sometimes, when my skin is very dry, I still experience some itching. But I don’t experience that as often as say, 2 months ago anymore.

The scent is mild, doesn’t trigger my rhinitis. It definitely stays on my skin even after my bath. This is very good to layer with the Asian Secrets Scrub. They complement each other’s scent wonderfully. But then again, that’s just my skin. These two might react differently on yours.

Compared to Dove’s Go Fresh Energizing Body Wash, I reap more benefits out of this product. It’s cheaper, the packaging is better in terms of product dispensing, the scent lasts longer and the moisturizing effect lasts longer is not annoying when I sweat (not sticky).

St. Ives Renewing Collagen Elastin Moisturizing Body Wash costs Php235 at Beauty By SM. This is also available at Watsons and The Landmark.

This day, one year ago..
I hated this product and threw it away.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Something For The Cat Lover

I wandered around Saizen Trinoma and found a few things that I think are useful and pretty. Here are two of the useful things:

saizen pet sheet, by bitsandtreats Pet Sheet

saizen carpet style scratch pad, by bitsandtreats
Cat Scratch Pad, Carpet Style

My cats like climbing up the bed and playing and then eventually sleeping there. It’s okay if they just had a bath but most of the time, MB scolds them. The pet sheets help a lot. Now my kitties can sleep on the bed without MB getting mad. One pack contains 6 sheets and costs Php85.

The Cat Scratch Pad was a total hit! It contained some silverine powder (which I think is catnip because I can’t find a definition of silverine anywhere) that you sprinkle on the pad. My cats were totally addicted to it! It was funny watching them go gaga over it. It’s like they’re high on drugs. = )  They’re now ignoring this because there is no longer any powder left. This also costs Php85 at Saizen. I’ll try the Board Style next time.

Stay tuned for the ‘pretty finds’.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Asian Secrets

I saw this tub of Asian Secrets Lulur Whitening Body Scrub in Beauty by SM last July and I was intrigued. I was drawn to the green and purple packaging (one of my favorite color combinations!) plus it really stood out among the sea of body scrubs and body washes on the shelf.

lulur whitening body scrub, by bitsandtreats Asian Secrets Lulur Whitening Body Scrub

I got one tub and read the label. Apparently, it’s used by Indonesian brides-to-be. Okay, that’s a good sign. But what about the price? I turned the tub around and saw Php80! Yipes! I gotta try this! And so I did.

asian secrets lulur whitening body scrub, by bitsandtreats

Fast forward to the present, (about 1 1/2 months later), I already hit pan but I still have about a few teaspoonsful of the product. Here are my thoughts.

I like the light and creamy consistency of this body scrub. I also love the fact that the beads are not too rough. They’re actually quite gentle and actually not painful even when I scrub hard. The scent is lovely although I’m not too crazy about jasmine/sampaguita scents. I like the scent better after taking a bath. The scent lingers on the skin for hours and if you have a perfume that complements the scent, well go ahead and layer! You will get addicted to smelling your skin every now and then.

You can use this on dry or damp skin. When I use this as a whole body scrub, I alternate between dry and damp. It works both ways although if you’re used to scrubbing your skin wet, you’ll find it a bit weird when you use this on dry skin. Don’t worry though. It will feel ‘normal’ after a few minutes. I have to use more product for dry skin so more often than not, I use this wet. For everyday scrubs on rough and darker areas such as the elbows and knees, I use this on wet skin.

On my first couple of weeks, I only used this scrub twice a week. I was scared that it might give me allergies. Fortunately, it didn’t so from then on, I used this twice a week for full body scrubs and everyday for small area scrubs. I didn’t notice the lightening effect on the first couple of weeks but I did see the results when I used the Lulur scrub everyday. I can definitely say that my elbows and knees are lighter, softer and smoother. After regular use on the rest of my body, I noticed that my skin is softer. I have uber dry skin so I can still draw a white line but it fades faster now, unlike before, the white line just lingers until I put lotion over it. You have to use this product regularly though to sustain the lightening/whitening effect. I noticed that whenever I forget to use this, my skin gets a shade darker after about 2 days.

Some scrubs (especially whitening ones) can be pretty harsh and cause stinging on sensitive areas such as the neck, underarms, the insides of the elbow, the back of the knees, etc but this scrub doesn’t cause any stinging at all. You all know how sensitive my skin is and I have no problems with this scrub even  though I use it everyday. No stinging and itchiness afterwards.

This scrub is very easy to rinse off but there are times when a few beads stick to my hair. That’s okay compared to the other body scrubs that I’ve tried. The beads don’t stick as much. The beads get trapped on my nape and the hair there and behind my ears so I need to give extra attention when rinsing those parts. I have curly hair so the beads really get trapped.

Before I forget, for full body scrubs, I don’t use a body wash anymore. This scrub effectively removes dirt. For small area scrubs, I use a body wash first then rinse then scrub. In my opinion, this is a wonderful and luxurious scrub for the legs and thighs,

The Asian Secrets Lulur Whitening Body Scrub is available in Beauty by SM and costs Php80 and Php130. I will definitely buy the bigger tub after I make simot the remaining product. This is a very affordable but wonderful addition to my beauty and cleansing regimen.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sun Guard

I never liked sunblocks. They’re heavy and sticky and I just don’t like the feeling. But the reality is, I’m getting older and I’ve been noticing some sun/age spots on my face. So, I have no choice but to use a sunscreen.

I wanted to buy the Neutrogena sunblock but it’s too pricey for me. I wanted a good, cheaper alternative so that if ever it doesn’t work out, then I’ll have no regrets giving it away. That led me to purchasing this:

etude house super aqua sun guard, by bitsandtreats Etude House Super Aqua Sun Guard

I don’t know why it’s called Super Aqua but maybe it has something to do with the light consistency. It’s like a very light moisturizer or makeup base. If you’re familiar with The Face Shop’s makeup base, then that’s exactly it.

The product is a shade of green (probably because it has seaweed extracts) and some people say that it leaves a white cast on the face. I have no problems with that as I am acidic and I allow this to be fully absorbed by my skin before applying makeup.

I was really scared the first time I applied this. I thought I would break out but thankfully, I didn’t. It itched on the first couple of days but not enough to cause rashes or redness. I think Teresa of Jurlique is right when she said that any new product, when applied the first time on our face, makes the face react.

I’ve been using this since the first week of July and I’m happy with it. It works well with my Garnier moisturizer. It also doesn't make my makeup run or smudge or crease. The spots on my face have stopped growing and multiplying. It doesn’t make my skin oily nor shiny. The scent is also nice and mild. Because of the protection, my face is now more even toned.

Now, because I’m a newbie at this, I did some research that I think will be quite useful to you too. I will try to make this sound as simple and less boring as possible because you need to know these things.

The SPF is for the UVB protection. For example, if you can only stay out in the sun for 10 minutes until you burn, an SPF35 will allow you to stay out 35 times longer i.e. 35 x 10 = 350 minutes. The PA++ on the packaging is for the UVA protection. PA stands for Protection grade of UVA.
  • PA+ protects sensitive skin against low to medium UV radiation
  • PA++ offers better protection from UVA rays and can be used by people with normal skin exposed to medium UV radiation
  • PA+++ is the strongest grade of UVA protection now available. It is designed for normal skin under very strong or direct UV radiation.

This Super Aqua Sun Guard is SPF 35 PA++ so I guess I’m well protected. Besides, I spend most of my time in the office or at home so no worries. I don’t think I need a higher SPF sunscreen.

The Etude House Super Aqua Sun Guard costs Php298 and is available at Etude House branches and Beauty by SM Makati.

If my budget permits, I will try the Neutrogena sunscreen. If not, I’ll purchase this again. What’s your favorite sunscreen? Share!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

More Marionnaud Brushes!

I love Marionnaud brushes! They’re very affordable and in my opinion, they’re very useful and perform really well.
marionnaud brushes, by bitsandtreats Marionnaud Assorted Brushes with case

I bought these three brushes when they were on sale, sometime in July. I got them for around Php40 each!!! Even now, almost 2 months after, I still smile every time I pick up any of these brushes because I remember that great bargain!

marionnaud brushes, by bitsandtreats Marionnaud Eye Shadow Brush, Pointed Eye Shadow Brush, Spoolie with Slanted Brush

Let’s examine them one by one. First, the eye shadow brush:

marionnaud n 35 yeux eye shadow brush, by bitsandtreats Marionnaud N35 Yeux Brush

I don’t use this brush that often especially when I’m in a hurry because the head is smaller compared to my other e/s brushes. But, it’s very useful for more precise application or if you have monolids. Because of the small head, you can control the amount and coverage area of the shadow. You can create lids if and when needed.

marionnaud n 35 yeux eye shadow brush head, by bitsandtreats Close-up

The only thing I don’t like about this brush is the e/s sticks to it like glue. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the primer but I don’t experience this with my other brushes. It’s also hard to clean because of that.

Next is the Pointed Eye Shadow Brush:

marionnaud pointed eyeshadow brush, by bitsandtreats Marionnaud Pointed Eye Shadow Brush

I use this brush for the inner corners of my eyes or when I want to layer colors on the outer V of my eyes. Because of the pointed tip, I get to create very precise lines. It’s very seldom that I use this because I just keep forgetting that I have it!

pointed marionnaud eyeshadow brush head, by bitsandtreats 
This is easier to wash than the eye shadow brush above.

Lastly, and my favorite among the three:

marionnaud spoolie and slanted brush, by bitsandtreats Marionnaud Spoolie and Slanted Brush

I use this every single day to groom my eyebrows. The spoolie is the right texture – soft but firm. The slanted brush is the same too. It’s not too soft and it’s firm and stable enough to line my eyebrows. This brush combo is also very easy to clean. The slanted brush comes with a brush guard.

marionnaud slanted brush close up, by bitsandtreats

close up of marionnaud spoolie, by bitsandtreats

All the brushes are very soft, not scratchy at all. They bled on the first few washes but stopped soon enough. They don’t shed. These are definitely great buys. If you’re starting out on makeup, I recommend getting these brushes. Next,  I’m going to buy the kabuki brush for my mom.

Marionnaud brushes are available at Watsons and Beauty by SM. Prices start at Php69.75.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Good Grooming

After I use this, I end my eyebrow grooming with a clear mascara from Nichido:

  Nichido Clear Mascara

A clear eyebrow gel helps set the eyebrow powder and stubborn hairs in place. This particular gel is only Php80 and gives me good results. I’ve only tried the clear mascara from HerBench before and there’s no difference.

Sometimes, especially after shaving my brows, I get a little itchy. I also sometimes get a few bumps but they quickly disappear. It also gets itchy when I’m sweating. It’s not a major bother so it’s okay.

nichido brow gel, by bitsandtreats

This mascara clumps up a little so I have to wipe the brush off first to get rid of the clumps. Sometimes it clumps up on my brows but nothing a quick swipe of tissue can’t fix.

I believe there are other brow gels out there but I haven’t come across any of the higher priced ones. For now, I’m quite satisfied with this.

Do you use a brow gel? What’s your favorite?


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