Love: The Body Shop Fijian Water Lotus Body Lotion and EDT

Are you guys doing fun Halloween-related stuff tonight? What or who are you coming as? I wish I was going to a costume party because it would be grand to dress up in my favorite character, but then I'd have to fake-drink (weak) alcohol and listen to loud dance music. My lola heart can't take it! Good for you if yours can haha.

Anyway, today I want to quickly rave about the new The Body Shop Fijian Water Lotus line of products. I've got the Body Lotion and the Eau De Toilette and man, they smell fantastic! It was love at first sniff for me. If you like clean, breezy, and refreshing scents then you would love the Fijian Water Lotus one by TBS.

Here's the description: think of crisp mandarin and litsea, bursting into a delicate bouquet of Fijian water lotus flower—plucked from the South Pacific Ocean—and rose, before leading into a light yet lively marine accord. It's so light and effervescent, lifting my mood as soon as I apply the products. It brings good vibes!

The EDT stays on fairly well at around three hours. It's not a hassle to re-apply during the day though since the bottle isn't that large nor bulky. It's best layered after using the Body Lotion, to extend the wear-time even more! The lotion itself is so light and fluffy. I love just slathering it on and basking in the clean scent of it after a shower.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to finish up both the lotion and the EDT, and more, I will purchase when I'm out! These are big words if you can see how many lotions and scents I've got here with me. I just love the products sooooo much. I've been told I smell great and my skin is so nice several times whenever I'm wearing the Fijian Water Lotus. 

Try it and tell me what you think!

Unboxed! The BDJ Box Elite in Corporate Chic

I'll be honest: I actually thought that there was a new beauty subscription service when this pouch arrived on my doorstep. It was pretty exciting to think of, how a new player could upset the existing status quo and business model of the top subbie brands here in the country. But I was mistaken. This is in fact a BDJ Elite Box! It's just a cute fabric pouch which when all is said and done is a lot more exciting compared to a cardboard box that just gets thrown away.

This is called the BDJ Corporate Chic Elite Box (P1,480). It's specifically curated for busy women who needs products that work while they work. If you don't have time for elaborate beauty routines and even for retouching, then this is for you! The price is about three times more than the usual BDJ box but the contents are quite nice for the price. Here's what's inside!

Pureology Precious Oil Shamp'oil (P1,195 full sized). This is a zero-sulfate, zero-silicone shampoo that features a concentrated oil formula. Not sure what that means exactly but it sounds intriguing enough. It's been years since I last used Pureology.

K-Palette 1Day Magic Eyeliner (P695). This is one of my favorite eyeliners! Glad I got a backup, haha. This is super long-wearing and easy to apply.

Canmake Tokyo Candy Wrap Lip (P410). I've also tried this before and enjoyed the non-sticky texture and shiny glass finish. It's sheer which means it's an excellent lipstick topper.

Revlon Superlustrous Lipstick (P350). I love the Superlustrous lipstick! I think I got a berry red shade, just perfect for the upcoming holiday season.

Davines Oi/Oil (P800 but this is only travel-sized). This is your typical oil serum. I tested it before and didn't remember it being particularly remarkable. 

Glamglow Mud sample sachets. Have you guys tried Glam Glow? I've been getting samples but I don't know, should I try it out? I'm just not a mask person! These muds are supposed to improve your skin texture and to clear your face thoroughly of any impurities.

Simply She Cosmetic Pouch (P400). This is cute! I will use it to store some of my things. ^_^ This is probably my favorite in the whole "box".

And that is that for my un-pouching. I think the Corporate Chic set offers great value for the price you pay but since I already have many of the products featured, this isn't something I would've purchased for myself. It is a great way to experience stuff you might not have come across yet though, as always.

What do you think? Is this Elite Box sulit?

Project Vanity Hits: The rewind edition

I believe that songs you loved or at the very least felt intensely about in the past will always stay with you. It doesn't matter how much your taste has changed - how you have changed - the song will always remind you of an emotion or a situation that would have made you, you. Recently I've been re-discovering old favorites and just having a blast remembering half-forgotten things.

The same could be said for three products that have wormed their way back into my heart. If you've been reading Project Vanity from before then you would recognize these as some of my most highly-recommended beauty finds. This was a time before brands started sending me anything; when I'd go to the mall and buy things for myself. It's different now because the blog has grown and with it corporate support. That ain't a bad thing, just that there's little room for spontaneous purchases.

Anyway. Here are some old finds that I've come to use regularly again! I love them.

Burt's Bees Garden Tomato Toner. I swore on this one up and down, haha. I've gone through several bottles of this and recommended it to all my friends! I had such troubled skin back then and this really helped heal my breakouts a bit faster. Now I don't need something as intense - the Burt's Bees Daisy White Toner is still best for daily use - but the Tomato Toner is more effective in smoothing out my skin. Like it's ironed. Which is scary but my skin texture looks so refined when I use this regularly!

So yes this is part of my daily routine at the moment. ^_^


Ellana Loose Mineral Foundation. You knew this was coming! I discovered Ellana when I was still in college. It was too good to be true: it offered flawless coverage, it's kind on troubled skin, and even better, it's so affordable! I started using this again after Ellana's relaunch last year. This foundation is still too good to be true today; I have a lot of high-end bases but I always go for Ellana, especially the pressed version.

Etude House Surprise Essence Concealer. I remember buying this for P300 while I was still working my first job. I finished a couple of tubes and went on to other concealers, but since I acquired another tube recently I remember what made me like it so much. Aside from the (still) affordable price, it's a great concealer for the under eyes. It goes on smoothly, doesn't cake, and sticks most of the day. What else could I ask for?

And that is that! Have you also been using old favorites that you're loving again? Would love to know what they are!

Etude House Total Age Repair Two-Way Pact SPF48PA++

Andrea Amado, the CEO of Etude House Philippines, personally toured me at Etude House's flagship branch in Megamall some weeks back. She showed me a wall that has the brand's top ten best sellers and I was surprised to see an anti-aging and expensive foundation as one of them! She told me that she was surprised too. It could be that moms also like to buy products while their teen daughters shop but I think there's more to it than that.

The Etude House Total Age Repair Two-Way Pact SPF48PA++ (P1, 198) is a pretty good powder foundation, anti-aging claims aside. It has a smooth, almost creamy texture that gives skin a flawless matte coverage. It also has SPF48PA++ - something that anyone of any age needs on a daily basis! 

Here's a run-down. ^_^

What I love about the product

  • It provides a matte, mid to heavy coverage that's enough to hide minor imperfections and fine lines. I often don't need to use concealer after one layer of this powder, but then again I don't have that much to conceal at the moment.
  • The texture is quite creamy for a powder which is why it blends so easily on skin. It's kinda loosely-packed though, so expect a lot of fall-out from your brush! Don't rub it in too hard.
  • It can be used both wet and dry. I go for a dry application with my dense powder (or kabuki) brush.
  • It has a fairly good staying power at about 6 to 8 hours on a humid day. I get oily but it's quite manageable even without retouching.
  • Can't argue with the SPF48PA++! I often skip sunscreen when I wear this.
  • Nice packaging, totally unexpected from a twee brand such as Etude House. 
Here's a swatch of shade #2 on my hand, and worn below.

Here's a swatch of shade #2 on my hand, and worn below.

What I don't like about the product

  • Here's the catch: this comes in only two shades. It has one for fair skin, and one for light-medium skin. I got the darker shade and it barely works for me. I'm a bit pale lately so I can get away with it but yeah, this can't be a summer foundation for me.


Go try the Etude House Total Age Repair Two-Way Pact SPF48PA++ if you're looking for a powder foundation that has good coverage, staying power, and high sun protection. This ain't a bestseller for nothing! However, this can only suit those with light to light medium yellow-toned skin. If you're any darker then no can do.


I love this! I've been using it regularly since I got it. As it happens Etude House is going on a 20% sale storewide on October 31, November 1 and 2. It's your chance to get your faves as well as new discoveries at a better price. ;) 

What do you think of this foundation? Do you gravitate towards high SPF bases?

Sign up for the #SmartiPhone6 and #SmartiPhone6Plus

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty fun - I held a makeup workshop, something I haven't done in a while. I forgot how fulfilling it is to teach what I know about, well, what I do for a living. I've been focusing so much on my art that I've been neglecting my makeup juju! I promise I'll get back to it and post tutorials again here. What would you like to know?

Anyway, before I get to my beauty-related post today, I thought I'd share this interesting bit of news from Smart: you can now register your interest for the Smart iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus! Just head on over to this page to let Smart know that you'd like to get dibs on Apple's latest phones. ^_^

Looking forward to a great week for all of us!

You should put a name on your My Burberry Eau De Parfum Bottle

I think it's a great idea for brands to come out with personalized items for their customers. It's a small thing, but people feel extra special knowing that they have something with their name on it - I know I do! That's why I was delighted to get my own My Burberry Eau De Parfum bottle with "LIZ" engraved on the glass!

The perfume itself is inspired by the smell of a London garden after the rain. Top notes of sweet pea and bergamot fuse with a heart of geranium, golden quince and freesia, rounded out with base notes of rain-tipped damask and centifolia roses and patchouli.

It's a lovely, quietly radiant scent. It actually reminds me of Burberry Body but this one is somehow more thoughtful, more feminine. And the bottle! That cap is so classy.

Referencing the Burberry trench coat colour palette, the My Burberry juice is reminiscent of the signature honey shade, one of the three colours used in the brand’s Heritage Trench Coat collection. 

Now, if you want your own engraved bottle,  get the 90ml My Burberry one in SM Aura until October 29. You can have up to three letters placed! They could be yours or for someone you love. ;) FYI! 

Who wins: Gel vs oil body moisturizers

The question isn't as complex as it sounds, really. Gel moisturizers are fantastic for oily, extra sweaty skin since they are almost completely absorbed while providing enough hydration. Oils, on the other hand, provide a deeper level of moisture which dry skin needs. If you have combination skin then you can do it as I do - I use a gel moisturizer during the day and a heavier one at night (oil or anything creamy). 

It boils down to preference, of course, since some people might not like the oily feel or even a barely-there texture. It's up to you. I just have two recommendations though, which are both pretty awesome for not a lot of money! ^_^

Let's start with the Tony Moly Pure Eco Aloe Gel (P348). This claims to be made of 92% aloe vera gel and is designed for sensitive skin. It's meant to be used all over the body, and yes, even for the face! I haven't done that but it's an excellent moisturizer for the rest of me, as it leaves my skin smooth and grease-free all day.

I love the cooling, ultra-light texture of this gel. I also like that those with problem skin can use this since it's free of ingredients typically believed to be irritants such as triethanolamine, artificial dyes, parabens, mineral oil, and benzophenone. I personally don't believe they are (irritants, that is) but if you've got a sensitive face then you can't be too safe.

Try this out! The big tub is just P350/300ml, I mean, that's crazy. I think I will purchase this when I run out.

Next up is the Burt's Bees Lemon & Vitamin E Bath & Body Oil (P650). This smells lovely, if you like citrus scents. It's an oil with a dry texture that takes a while to get absorbed. It's best applied on damp skin to hasten the process, but since I don't like walking around with damp skin after a shower, I just massage it all over to get even coverage. 

This is 100% natural according to Burt's Bees. It's a blend of pure oils such as sweet almond oil, lemon oil, wheat germ oil, soybean oil, and canola oil. It also has tocopherol (Vitamin E) and rosemary extract to nourish skin even more. All good things! I like applying this right before sleeping. The scent is relaxing and the oil does make my skin smoother and dare I say, more youthful.

Hey, I can't take too many precautions even if I'm just 26. ;) So there you have it! I've been using both products for a few weeks now and love how nice my skin looks. I highly recommend them!

Thoughts? What's your favorite body moisurizer?

VMV Hypoallergenics Bag Caddy + Pretty Pinks

When I don't know what to blog, I write about the most recent thing that excited me. Today, it's this VMV Hypoallergenics Bag Caddy and a couple of their pink cosmetics! They just arrived on my doorstep yesterday and I immediately fell in love with the - guess - caddy. Haha. It looked like the perfect plein air painting kit and I was not mistaken. I'll show you later!

But first, some info: this limited edition VMV pouch is free for every P2,500 purchase as long as it includes a pink product. Part of the proceeds from the purchase of the pink items goes to Icanserve Foundation as VMV's contribution to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. ^_^  

I love the caddy as it's slim yet it can be expanded easily. I like that I can also stuff it inside most of my bags, making it more convenient to move my things from purse to purse.  

My main use for it though would be as a painting kit, lol. It fits my sketchbooks, paints, and brushes nicely! I can't wait to bring it out. 

Aside from the caddy, VMV also kindly sent me two of their best-selling pink products - the Skin Bloom Blush in Rosebud and the Velvet Matte Lipstick in Flamingo. Off the bat I can see that these are gorgeous, flattering pinks, and again I'm not wrong! 

The swatches are below. I haven't gotten the chance to wear the blush yet, but first impressions: the texture is silky, the color pay off is good. I also like that it has a bit of a sheen so that it doesn't look flat on the face.  Rosebud is a color that I think is also universal - it'll look good on you no matter what your skin tone is.


I've already reviewed the VMV Velvet Matte Lipstick three years ago so I won't go into much detail, but I can say that it has a beautiful matte finish, although it's quite dry in texture. Do wear a lip balm first! Flamingo is a pretty warm pink shade that's bright but far from loud. It's a pink that we can all get behind.

So nice no? I hope you won't miss VMV Hypoallergenic's October campaign! It's until the 31st so hurry up if you're interested. You can avail of it on the VMV Online Store or in boutiques nationwide.  ^_^

Begin again

Not sure if you noticed but I'm finding it a bit hard to blog these days. My seven-year relationship, older than this blog and which I have written so glowingly about in the past, has just ended. Honestly, I'm feeling lost, exhausted, confused, and sadder than I remember ever being. It's like something living cozily inside my chest for seven years was yanked out and left on the ground to die of exposure.

Oh, but don't worry. I'll be alright. I'm sure that there are worse kinds of loss, of pain, and this one is something we all go through at some point. "Live through this and you won't look back," said my favorite song. I'm just taking it one day at a time until I don't have to make an effort anymore.

I've never been one to wear my heart on my sleeve online so I will leave it at that. :) I just wanted to let you know, because it's easier not to dance around the issue like it never happened. Actually, the usual emails and comments I receive from you guys are helping more than you can imagine - they remind me that I still have work to do, places to go, new people to meet. 

Thank you. 

My Makeup 101 Workshop with Ellana Minerals

Fresh off my watercolor workshop last Saturday and I have another one! I would have announced this sooner, except that there are a lot of things going on - I hope you can forgive me (please?). Sooooo. If you're into perfecting your personal makeup technique, let's spend an afternoon together learning about the basics with Ellana Minerals! I'll discuss finding the shade match, shading eyebrows, contouring, and placing/blending eyeshadows. We'll be all about applying enhancing, sophisticated day-to-day makeup!

The workshop fee is P2,500 inclusive of snacks and drinks. The P2,000 is consumable so this is the perfect chance to get advice about a customised Ellana kit. ^_^ What say you? Looking forward to seeing you this Saturday!

To register, please do follow this page. 

Discover #BeautifulScience with Pantene

A couple of weeks ago, I got a message from a Project Vanity reader asking for help about her damaged hair. She said that she wanted it chemically straightened to save her time from having to blow dry and iron it everyday, but no salon wanted to touch her hair. It was too damaged, they said. I agree. If it came to that point then the only way for her to be able to fix her hair is to cut it off and let it grow anew! It might not feel good for a while but it is the only solution.

I hope you and I would never have to face that problem. That's why it's important to use a moisturizing conditioner regularly to minimize or at least manage the damage we cause it everyday. Heat styling, chemical treatments, and styling products take a toll on our tresses, so if you're heavy on those things then you must try something like Pantene's new conditioners! :)

Event host Issa Litton, celebrity hairstylist Alex Carbonell and P&G  Communications Manager Deirdre de Padua talking about Pantene's newest innovations.

Event host Issa Litton, celebrity hairstylist Alex Carbonell and P&G  Communications Manager Deirdre de Padua talking about Pantene's newest innovations.

To convince us of the science behind their products, Pantene recently launched the #BeautifulScience campaign. It's a series of videos, the first of which demonstrates how hair treated with Pantene Daily Intensive Conditioner stays down, resisting static electricity and staying virtually frizz-free - and all this without camera tricks or retouching! You better see the video to believe it.

So how is this possible? Shean Lim, Senior Technologist for P&G Hair Care, explains the science, “When hair is not damaged, the cuticle or the outer layer of the hair is in place, effectively protecting the inner structure or cortex. However, due to mechanical, environmental, thermal and chemical factors, our hair becomes damaged, which means that the cuticles are lifted and the cortex becomes exposed.”

Lim shares, “Damaged hair has a higher negative charge density than healthy hair. When the cuticle is lifted, the exposed cortex becomes more and more negatively charged.”  In the first Beautiful Science experiment, the Static Generator, which creates negative charges, is used to measure the level of damage in hair. When a person touches the metallic ball of the Static Generator, the negative charges from the generator transfers to that person. Damaged hair becomes even more negatively charged and hair strands begin to repel each other, causing damaged hair to stand up. 

Pantene model Catriona Gray

Pantene model Catriona Gray

Cool huh? There are three different Pantene products that you can try for your hair: the  Pantene Total Damage Care Daily Intensive Conditioner which is designed to address ten signs of hair damage, the Pantene Aqua Pure Daily Intensive Conditioner which helps give hair the nourishment it needs without the excess weight, making it perfect for women with fine hair, and the Pantene Color and Perm Daily Intensive Conditioner which promises keep colors vibrant and curls intact.

So there you have it! FYI. ;) Have you tried Pantene conditioners? How do you like them?