How to use only one cleansing wipe to remove a full face of makeup

This is an obvious beauty hack, just something that perhaps not a lot of people do. Makeup wipes as you know are terribly convenient when you want to remove The Gunk off your face after a tiring day. However, they can be quite expensive to use if you take at least three pulls off the packet per cleansing. There are brands like Nivea with excellent wipes that are only P140 per pack - still, it's just less wasteful if you know how to maximize the product.

I adore the Nivea Gentle Facial Cleansing Wipes not just for the price though. Each wipe is fairly thick so you can use the other side without it being too dirty after the first pass. It's also very soft and loaded with enough fluid so that I don't need to rub too hard. Here's how I use it!

Fold the wipe in half, and then half again. Use each quarter of the wipe as a new surface - and that's really all there is to it! The sequence I follow is also straightforward. I use the first quarter of the wipe to remove as much as I can of my foundation and lipstick. The second quarter I use to remove my eye makeup. Then, I flip the wipe to the clean side, and use one quarter to take another pass at my foundation. The last quarter of the wipe is what I use to remove any traces of eye makeup remaining.

It's important not to drag the side of the wipe where your eye makeup is all over your face to avoid breakouts, or any negative reactions for that matter. That's why I use a separate side each for my eye and face makeup.

One Nivea wipe is perfect for removing all of the product on my face without using any additional micellar water. Of course, if I'm wearing waterproof mascara, I add an oil-based makeup remover to be able to break the formula down.

Hope this helps! ^_^ Have you tried the Nivea Cleansing Wipes yet? How's it been so far?

This post is brought to you by Nivea.

Belo Neutraceuticals Collagen Powder Drink

Collagen drinks are huge in Japan, where you can find dozens of variants right beside the mineral water and coffee in convenience stores. A quick glance at the Japanese will show that they've got gorgeous skin so they might be onto something there! I've only ever tried a collagen drink once in all my trips so far and found it pleasant - it just tasted like juice, really. It wasn't weird or off-putting at all. 

Now collagen drinks aren't as popular yet in the Philippines but with brands like Belo pushing the envelope on achieving beauty inside and out, they've come up with something exciting: the Belo Neutraceuticals Collagen Powder Drink (P114/sachet and P1,593/14 sachets). This contains 5000 milligrams of collagen, as well as 20mg of hyaluronic acid which are both considered as powerful anti-aging ingredients.

Why? Our skin has high collagen content when we are young, but as the years pass this amount slowly yet surely depletes. That's why our skin sags and loses the suppleness of youth; wrinkles then start to develop. Hyaluronic acid, on the other, serves to hydrate and improve the elasticity of the skin.

The Belo Collagen Powder Drink has both components in their new dietary supplement. It's basically a fine white powder that dissolves easily in drinks/ food, and has a neutral taste with a hint of vanilla. I just tried it with my coffee today and I can barely detect it! It can also be mixed with soup or rice, if you wish.

It is recommended to be taken twice a day, alone or with a meal. There's no specific time required for you to take it.

For your information, here's a useful ingredients break down:

Marine Collagen - Reduces Fine Lines / Maltodextrin- Carrier 

Arginine - Antioxidant / Xanthan Gum - Improves palatability

Glucosamine HCl - Anti Aging (Skin Tone and Skin Barrier) / Sodium Ascorbate - Antioxidant

Vanilla - Flavor / Sodium Hyaluronate - Anti Aging / Moisturization

This powder supplement is designed to improve the suppleness of the skin by hydrating and plumping it from within. I'll be trying out this drink in the next week and will have more thoughts to share by then! Disclosure: the post is sponsored, but I will still write down my real experience with the product. :) Stay tuned, and let me know what you think if you've tried this already! 

This product is available in Belo Medical Group clinics, Mercury Drug, Watsons, and other leading drugstores nationwide. The product is safe and is available for purchase over the counter. Each sachet costs Php 114 and Php 1,593for a box of 14 sachets.

 

This post is brought to you by Belo and Sample Room.

Quickie: Happy Skin Shut Up & Kiss Me Lippie in Under The Sheets

Back to reality and it feels like a bucket of ice water over my head! Oddly though I also feel refreshed. I'm already thinking about where to travel next - Taiwan perhaps? Tokyo is definitely on my list this year, it'll always be as long as I live. Anyway. Today I want to quickly talk about a lipstick that I'm digging at the moment: the Happy Skin Shut Up & Kiss Me Lippie in Under The Sheets (P549). 

This was part of the holiday release last year but it's also in the permanent collection. Thought I lost it but found it last week, so yay! It's a gorgeous color described as a mocha nude. 

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On me though it looks like a brown-based rose. It has a strong red tone on my skin although on others this looks more mocha. Whichever it is, it's sure to flatter your skin tone even if you're fair or dark. The formula is awesome as to be expected from the Shut Up & Kiss Mes - smooth, opaquely pigmented, and long-wearing.

This is pretty much the only lippie I wore during my trip. I had a few others in my kit but I just can't stop myself from picking it up. It's just so dependable and goes with anything! Get it from happyskincosmetics.com, Rustan's Makati and Shangri-La, and Plains & Prints stores among other locations.

What's your favorite Happy Skin nude? I'd still go for Honeymoon Glow over The Morning After. ;)

My Balesin travel beauty kits

Hello from Balesin! Have been here since yesterday for a press junket (more on that soon) and have been enjoying the experience tremendously. The island is beautiful and surprisingly huge - we have to ride jeeps to get from one themed villa to another. Food is good, company is even better as I'm with my beauty blogger friends. ^_^ Most of what's going on is on my Instagram (@lizlanuzo) so keep updated on my adventure there! 

Anyway, before I head to the next activity for the day, I want to quickly write about the beauty products I brought to the island. I have three kits as usual: one for retouching on the plane, one full makeup kit, and my skincare essentials.

My retouch kit is all about the bare minimum I need to look good. It has lip balm (Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm), lipstick (Happy Skin Under The Sheets), blush (Clinique Chubby Stick Blush in Roly Poly Rosy - gives that perfect beach flush), mascara (Clinique Lash Power), curler (Shu Uemura), foundation (Shiseido Spot Control), and finally, a perfume - the Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay Cologne.

The kit is a gift I got last Christmas. So cute no? It's so small but fits all of the stuff above comfortably.

The kit above though takes the cake. It's a Benefit one that I got from a press kit just the other day! I wish they'd sell their makeup bags, Benefit makes the best ones. It's rivalled only by Clinique IMHO.

Anyway, inside are the following: Shiseido Sun Protection Liquid Foundation (highly water-resistant, this is best for the beach), Estee Lauder Eyeshadow Palette in Untamed Teal (no need for primer!), Mac Studio Finish Concealer, Happy Skin Corrector, Stila Convertible Color in Lotus (cream blush is a beach must-have imho, looks more like skin than makeup under the sun), and the Happy Skin Contour Kit.

I also brought the L'Oreal Mat Magique as it's been impressing me so far. Review soon as usual.

My brushes were travel-sized ones from Make Up Forever. For the eyes, I mistakenly packed two eyeliners, the Benefit They're Real Liner and the Prestige Ink Pen. Both are pretty good and resists water, but they're not waterproof. I also have the Eye of Horus Eyebrow Pencil, theBalm Read My Lips Gloss, and the Mac Pro Longwear Eyebrow mascara,

As for skincare, this is pretty much what I bring with me to all my trips: my trusty pink Beabi pouch and my essentials in a ziplock. I have a few new additions to my travel skincare though, such as the Nivea Facial Cleansing Wipes (i've reviewed them, they're good), the latest serum from Estee Lauder, the Kiehl's Ultra Light UV Defense, and Neostrata Intensive Eye Therapy Cream.

I'm going to get all ravey about the Estee Lauder Full Cycle Brightening Spot Correcting Essence - got it the other week lang and it has done wonders for my skin. Yeah I know I say that all the time but there IS always something better out there, somewhere. And this serum seems like it for me.

The Kiehl's I've used and loved before while the Neostrata eye cream is quite powerful. I just haven't been consistent with it. 

And that is that. ^_^ Hope you enjoyed this peek! How's hump day so far?

My top five BB Creams, currently

Remember when BB creams came in and nobody knew what they were, really? Fast forward to today when you can't throw a pebble without hitting one anywhere makeup is sold. There are many double letter creams that have come after the blemish balm but it still remains as THE basic foundation-but-not product in our kits. 

BB creams are still relevant because they were the first to have skincare benefits, high SPF, and low yet perfecting coverage in one bottle. Companies still come out with new BB creams because we still battle blemishes - and in any case, it already has the spot when it comes to customer recall. 

I pick up BB creams whenever I feel the need for a good dose of SPF, instant brightening, hydration, and perhaps blemish-fighting properties. Here are the five that are currently enjoying a spot in my vanity!

The shades look so varied for my skin tone but they blend in easily enough. As long as the shade isn't too white or too pink/grey then it's fine, I find!

The shades look so varied for my skin tone but they blend in easily enough. As long as the shade isn't too white or too pink/grey then it's fine, I find!

Heroine Make Protect UV Mineral BB Cream SPF50 PA+++ (P595 in Watsons). I like this product because of the high sun protection, thin texture, medium coverage, and brightening finish. It's a bit light on me but melts onto my skin after half an hour. 

The Body Shop Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream (P795). This has tea tree oil which is an ingredient valued for its antibacterial and anti-inflammation properties. The BB cream itself has heavy coverage (perfect for skin that's red, breaking out, or blemished) and has shades suitable for darker skin tones.

The Happy Skin Zit Zapper Cream SPF20 PA++ (P1,299). This says "ZZ cream" but it's literally BB cream. It has salicylic acid which should help dry out pimples and lighten existing blemishes faster. Pretty cool! The one available shade looks like initially but blends eventually. I usually top it off with a foundation that's the same shade (or one step darker) than my skin.  

BB Cream Week: Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF35 PA+++ (P2,000+). This one I value most for how it makes my skin look glowy and flawless even though the coverage is light. It makes my skin look so amazing! The shade Natural is a perfect match for me even though it looks very yellow in the swatch.

Estee Lauder Double Wear BB Cream SPF30 PA++ (P2,000+). Love this for how long-wearing it is. It offers excellent oil control (for a BB cream) and coverage as well. The shade I have, Intensity 2.0, is just a tad lighter than I'd like, but again blends nicely after an hour.

So that's my updated list! What about yours? Which BB creams do you always pick up and stock up?

Yet another awesome makeup brush drying tip

I don't know why this hasn't occurred to me earlier. I usually lay down my brushes on a towel to dry, which works perfectly fine, but has the potential to damage lower quality ferrules and the glue that holds the hair together. It's actually better to hang brushes upside down to prevent trouble like that! I don't have the patience to tie brushes though or hunt down/make a brush tree or drying rack.

Then today, voila! I saw some putty adhesives lying around and though they're perfect for sticking my brushes upside down over the sink. This way the water is drawn out by gravity and the bristles don't get distorted as they air dry. 

It's ridiculously simple: take a big wad of the mounting adhesive (I use the one from Faber Castell which is just 60 bucks per pack in National Bookstore), stick it at the edge a shelf, then stick the brushes onto it. Done! It's better to do this over the sink or a tile counter top so that the dripping water can safely be left to dry.

So simple and brilliant if I must say so. ^_^ Try it too and let me know how it goes!

How do yo usually dry your brushes?

PS This was my first awesome brush drying tip, by the way - Accidental discovery: how to dry brushes in minutes!

The perfect bordeaux lip + a cheap dupe

The dark lip trend is far from being on its way out. Well, we are done with the oxblood vampy lip, but we've moved on to a similar yet totally different version: the bordeaux. The ordained color of the year as you know is marsala, an earthy wine, which means that variations of it are very much on point. 

A few weeks ago I attended a friend's wedding and decided to layer two luxe lip products to create the perfect bordeaux lip: the Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in L'Adoree and the Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss in Midnight Violet. L'Adoree is a matte, muted orchid base on my lips that when topped with the wine-toned Midnight Violet became this surprisingly gorgeous new color.

The resulting shade isn't actually that dark, but it's certainly dramatic enough. I wore neutral brown eyeshadow, winged liner, and a light rosy blush for an elegant wedding-appropriate face.

Lovely right? If I do say so myself haha. The catch is, the two lip products above can easily cost you P3,000 up, which is silly just to cop a lip trend. Luckily I found a cheap dupe of the color in the Wet n Wild Megaslicks Balm Stain in Lady And The Tramp. It only costs P299! It isn't exactly the same as the shade I've combined, but it's close enough. In fact it's even more wearable for everyday since the formula is thin and moisturising on the lips. It also stains rather well!

Thank goodness for drugstore dupes. ^_^ How was your weekend by the way? I'm traveling out of town tomorrow - can't wait! It will be my first time to visit that famous resort.

Happy Skin Shut Up & Kiss Me Lip & Cheek Mousse

How busy are you, on a scale of one to ten? Are you able to do everything you need and want to during the day? And the most important question: are you happy with the pace of your life? It might feel like it's impossible to slow down at this point, but sometimes you just have to stop yo' self before you wreck yo' self (as the saying goes). Find a balance between the things you care about and focus on your priorities instead of what's shoved in front of you. 

You're not going to live forever after all, but as long as you do, you might as well live for real. 

Moving along! Let's discuss the Happy Skin Shut Up & Kiss Me Lip & Cheek Mousse (P699). This line of liquid colors came out during the holidays and is a permanent part of the Happy Skin collection. It features three basic colors that are wearable and intentionally universally flattering: a pink, a nude, and a classic red.

Each shade is pigmented in a single swatch. Use them as a solid layer on your lips and as a sheered out veil over your cheeks! Finish is matte once the product dries a bit. The texture is super smooth and mousse-y (due to the silicone) so blending is a breeze, plus, it doesn't dry out lips. The wand is also nicely shaped for depositing the color and ensuring that it sticks to the skin.

The Happy Skin mousse stays on about three to four hours on my lips and around the same time on my cheeks. I've found that My Guilty Pleasure stains the most, which means that it lasts longer compared to the other two.

The colors are gorgeous as you can see! These are all warm shades so they should work with most skin tones. It's only a matter of choosing which color you fancy most and I'm pretty sure it'll look good on you. 

Swept Off My Feet is a mid-tones warm pink. It looks so lovely as a blush - it flatters my skin tone so well. This is an everyday fool-proof color that's safe for the office or school.

If you prefer looking like you barely have any makeup on, Warm and Toasty has your name on it. It's exactly as the name suggests! It's a peachy nude that evens out the color of the lips and gives a natural flush on the cheeks. Shades like this usually wash me out but this one has a brown undertone that keeps it from looking pale on skin.

My Guilty Pleasure is a bright cherry red. If you're sick of matte red lipsticks that make your lips as dry as the Sahara, this one's for you! It has a bit of shine when it's freshly applied but that quickly goes away as it dries.

Tip: if you're going to use this color on your cheeks, make sure to just use one tiny dot per side. It's really quite pigmented so you don't need much.

Another tip: this can bleed on the lips when not applied properly. Blot out the first layer with tissue first before applying the final layer! That dry base will hold the color as you smile and eat and laugh throughout the day.

Overall, I highly recommend the Happy Skin Shut Up & Kiss Me Lip & Cheek Mousse if you love multi-tasking, flattering products that stay on for a decent amount of time. Retouching is no trouble at all, so even if you're extremely oily, you don't have to worry. This is easy to apply - just dot on the cheeks then blend it out with a finger. On the lips, swipe it on like you normally use a lip gloss. 

Hope you enjoyed the review! Have you tried the Happy Skin mousse? How is it so far?

Luxe and complex: Bobbi Brown Scotch On The Rocks Warm Glow Eye Palette

I want to stare and touch the Bobbi Brown Warm Glow Eye Palette (P4,500) from their Scotch On The Rocks Collection all day, if I have the time. The brown leather case, the gold trim, and utterly lovely eyeshadow colors are just so beautiful together! This is one of the most luxurious compacts I'm lucky to have.

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This gorgeous palette has nine warm shades that are as versatile as they are pretty. There are different textures - matte, satin, and shimmer - to play with and layer together to create complex looks. Some might find the varied pigmentation off-putting since Bobbi Brown shadows aren't uniform or rather, like your typical eyeshadow from say MAC or Urban Decay. You just need to know how to use them.

For example, the white gold shade in the 3rd column, 2nd row is never going to be opaque no matter how you layer it. It's meant as a topper for any color to add that super fine twinkle, an extra dimension if you please. It's prettiest when the light hits it! That yellow gold color in the 3rd column, 1st row looks a lot like the one in the 1st column/1st row but it packs a lot of glitter flakes, again for adding more interest and glimmer to whatever is underneath it.

Do you know what makes an eyeshadow look and feel expensive? It's not just about how smooth or pigmented the color is. It's how it adheres like second skin, with barely any obvious seams even when you swatch heavily. It should be easy to blend to almost nothing. It should combine with the next color with little effort. These things are what Bobbi Brown shadows do best!

Here are the swatches for your reference:

Below is a look I wore to a friend's wedding. I applied the sandy champagne shade on my lids, the satiny bronze on my crease, then smoked it a bit on the outer-v using the charcoal shade. I patted on the twinkly gold right in the middle of the lids to create a natural point of interest.

I made sure to blend the crease color with the matte tan and to highlight my brows with the matte cream (1st column/1st row and 1st column/2nd row respectively). Loved wearing this!

Here's another, simpler look but still with a lot of impact. I applied the charcoal shade on my lids - a heavy layer - then blended it upwards with the matte tan. That's it. I love how this smoky look makes my eyes look bigger, almost anime-like. This is actually my default setting whenever I wear eyeshadow since it's so quick n' intentionally dirty.

Overall, I highly recommend the Bobbi Brown Scotch On the Rocks Warm Glow Eye Palette if you adore complex neutrals and luxe packaging. This is something that'll definitely see a lot of usage, at least for me. ^_^

Would love to know what you think!

Why I love my #SmartiPhone6

I've been an Apple user since 2007. At first I was hesitant to make the switch, but since then I have never in my darkest hour even thought of switching back. There's just something so sexy about Apple products - the sleek design, the simplified interface - that makes them such a joy to use. I've had a Macbook, a Macbook Air (what I'm currently using), an iPod Nano, iPod Touch, iPad, iPad Mini, and the previews two iPhones and the experience of using Apple has always been amazing.

Call me an Apple fanboi if you want, I just love beautiful things!

Recently, Smart generously gave me an iPhone 6 to test and review. If you're interested, the country's most reliable telco offers accessible plans for both the 6 and the 6 Plus. For example, with just a P2,499 data plan a month, the iPhone 6 is free. At a P2,499 data plan, the iPhone 6 Plus is just at a P4,800 cash out. That's not too bad! My monthly phone bill is actually P2,000-2,500 a month so I could've gotten any of the phones at a fairly low cost.

I've been using the new iPhone for over a month and I've been loving it! Here's why:

  • The battery life is a lot better compared to the iPhone 5s which is good for five hours on a normal day. The 6, on a full charge, could last me for up to 10-12 hours depending on my usage. It charges a lot faster too. I can get a full charge in under 45 minutes.
  • The 6 takes amazing photos and videos. Every image is sharp and rich in color.
  • I'm enjoying the bigger screen! At first I was worried that the larger size won't fit comfortably in my tiny hand, but it does. Watching videos, reading books, and playing games is so much more fun with a bigger (but not too big) screen.
  • Call quality is considerably better. The audio is crisp and clear with the Smart network.
  • The matte gold color is so stylish! I treat my phone as an accessory too, since I whip it out so often. It's part of my personal style statement.

I got a slim gold case from iStudio to match the gold of the iPhone 6. It's almost the same color, just slightly darker in tone. The brand is Elago and it cost P1,100 if I remember correctly. I do want to check out Incase next time though as I love their classy designs.

I love that my case doesn't look like a case! It's almost seamless.

I love that my case doesn't look like a case! It's almost seamless.

So there you have it! ^_^ Hope you enjoyed my little gadget review. Do visit the Smart website for more information on Apple plans and pricing!

This post is brought to you by Smart.

Heroine Make Quick Eyebrow Pencil

I never leave the house without my eyebrows on. These days I can even skip the foundation and the lip color, as long as my brows are in place. It's not that I have crazy ones that are thin and stick every which way, no, I just feel that my face is bare without solid arches holding it up. Eyebrows make all the difference - you can write that on my tombstone!

Anyway. My usual eyebrow routine can be quite laborious if I have the time. I draw some hair on with a fine-tip liquid pen, soften that up with powder, and then break any solid lines down with a spoolie brush. When I don't have the time, I pick up a fuss-free pencil like the Heroine Make Quick Eyebrow (P345 at Watsons) and be done in less than a minute.

This tiny twist-up pencil looks so unassuming but I tell you, this shades brows beautifully. The product is narrow and very hard that it won't color much if you swatch it on the back of your hand. However, when you use it to shade your brows, you'll get a very soft yet defined finish. 

This Heroine Make pencil is similar to my HG before from Shu Uemura, minus the sword-shaped tip and the expensive price tag. The shade I have here is 03. It's a light brown with a blonde undertone. I didn't think it would work for my dark hair color but it does, as you can see in my EOTD below.

This is perfect for those who like soft, natural-looking eyebrows although you can definitely layer more if you need to. If you have oily skin, this is most likely going to stay on short of you rubbing it off. 

Here's the catch though: the point is so hard that you can lose a couple of brow hairs if you color too hard. Just remember to use a light hand!

Overall, the Heroine Make Quick Eyebrow Pencil works well and is fairly affordable. It's something I pick up in a hurry or whenever I'm traveling since it's so convenient. It's also ideal for that natural eyebrow trend going on this 2015. ^_^ So there you go! Let me know if you've tried this and what you think.

Heroine Make is available in Watsons.