The Weekly Haul: Avon, Revlon, Beauty So Clean

Making interesting and exciting press kits is an art. You have to think of what will make your recipient oooohhh at what's inside, while keeping in mind that it has to be as informative AND photogenic as possible for their Instagram feeds. I always appreciate receiving well-made kits from brands as they make my job a whole lot easier!

So! This week, here are the most interesting items I have for you guys.

Two days ago Avon introduced Maine Mendoza, AlDub's superstar half, as their latest endorser for Skin So Soft. There's a new variant called Advance White With Stem Cells that's supposed to whiten while hydrating skin. If you've tried their past variants with Marula extract, it smells and feels exactly the same way. I love the scent! Texture is ultra light too.

Side note: I opened this wooden box just today and saw that there were caramel apples inside. Good thing they didn't go bad hehe. Whoever the supplier was, they used fresh apples and their caramel/chocolate coating is DIVINE.

Revlon sent a nice jewelry box with their - are you ready - Ultra HD Matte Lip Color. I have been lemming for these! Someone told me that I don't seem to feature matte colors a lot, but that's really because I don't find them comfortable to wear. These new ones from Revlon are I kid you not so buttery and soft on the lips. They have a tiny bit of sheen when freshly applied but I'll find out if they dry more matte later on in the day. 

Revlon also sent over a perfume (didn't know they sold perfume pala!) and a limited edition Marchesa Mirror Compact. They also threw in a couple of chocolates. Sweet!

Finally, I have something I know neat freaks will love: Beauty So Clean! This famous brand from the US is now in the Philippines via Suesh. If you love sanitizing your makeup and cleaning brushes regularly, BSS has products specifically for the process. They even have wipes for cleaning compacts, wands, and tubes. Can't wait to try the Brush Cleanser! Mine is running out and I've always been curious about BSS. Perfect timing.

So there you go. ^_^ Share your haul this week too! Did you find anything exciting while shopping?

Well that was a total waste of money

I've heard lots of good things about Catrice, as I have a few beauty blogger friends who swear by their stuff. I always put off getting anything but last week I went to Watsons to find some drugstore items to write about - I'm trying to feature more affordable things as you guys requested! Remembering Catrice I went ahead and bought the Prime and Fine Eyeshadow Base (around P300), and the Matt Bronzing Powder (in the neighborhood of P300 too).

I finally opened both products today, and I was so disappointed by what I found in the jar of the Eyeshadow Base.

catrice.jpg

As you can see, it has completely dried up into a hard cake. There's no way for me to revive the product, much less pick up anything at this point. It was sealed when I got it so I didn't really have an opportunity to check. :/ 

Perhaps I can still return it? It's been almost two weeks since I got it though, definitely past the standard 7-day return policy. Even if I can return it I'm not sure if I have time to recoup a three-hundred peso loss, argue with the sales lady, wait for their decision, things like that. Some people might enjoy the back and forth but I am allergic to aggravation.

I don't like writing bad reviews or ranting about things here on Project Vanity. I truly believe that brands try their best and different products suit different people. I suppose I'm posting this as a warning to everyone who buys makeup - find a way to check sealed products or at the very least get some assurance from the sales staff that it's new stock. Check the expiration date too! I'm pretty cool about this primer because it's inexpensive, but I'm sure I would feel differently if this was from, say, MAC.

I would definitely still review the Matt Bronzing Powder though. ^_^ It looks promising! I'd love to know how you deal with faulty products - do you just chalk it up to experience and let it go or do you go on war mode?

Seven facial mists to keep your makeup natural and fresh

I have always been curious about facial mists. Back when I didn’t know what they were for, I thought that it would just be an extra step to my already extensive makeup and skincare routine. But now I know better. I swear by my MAC Fix+ for freshening up and for setting makeup! It really helps my foundation look more natural, and boosts my skin's hydration whenever it feels dry in the middle of the day.

There are plenty of choices out there so here’s a shortlist of some of the most raved-about facial mists you might want to try!

MAC Prep + Prime Fix+

Because of its name, this MAC product is often seen as a fixing spray that locks your makeup in place though you can use it prior to application. As a setting spray, what it really does is to remove that powdery finish you get from applying, well, finishing powders. This facial mist also contains green tea, chamomile, and cucumber so it's good for your skin especially with regular use.

AVENE Eau Thermale

This facial mist slash setting spray is more well-known for its skin-soothing, hydrating properties. Online reviews are rave about on the many occasions in which this product had been their lifesaver. Dry or irritated skin can get instantly better with a regular spritzing of this product.

EVIAN Facial Spray

Similar to the previous product, hydration is the name of the game for this facial mist. Spray on top of your makeup, and you don't have to worry about messing up anything while delivering helpful minerals to your skin. The best part is that this spray also comes in a convenient 5 oz./150 ml travel size.

YADAH Anti-T Mist

This baby from South Korea is another skin refreshing mist packed with herbal ingredients. To get the most of its vitamin rich formula, spraying before applying makeup (like a toner) is a must. You can then spritz on top of makeup after or as needed throughout the day to freshen up and even use as a gentle toner.

PIXI Glow Mist

Unlike the previous products, this one is an argan oil-based facial mist. The brand advises applying this before and after makeup application for a dewy finish. You can also use it on its own for moisturized glowing skin!

CLINIQUE Moisture Surge Face Spray

As the product's name suggests, an increase in moisture on your skin is the goal of this facial mist. Use alone throughout the day, or apply with your fave moisturizer and it gets the job done. The oil-free and aloe-infused formula makes this a must-try for oily and combination skin types.

L'OREAL Infallible Pro-Spray & Set

The last facial mist slash setting spray on our list is backed up by years of runway experience of L'Oreal makeup artists. Referred to as a "micro-mist", this is sprayed after applying makeup to make it last longer, as numerous online reviews have verified. Take note that alcohol is one of the ingredients on the list, though, so getting the smallest size may be best if you have oily or combination skin.

Have you tried any of the facial mists listed above? Which one’s your favorite?

Valentine’s Day outfits for different types of dates

Hearts Day is almost here! Hopefully by now, you’ve already picked out the perfect Valentine gift for your beau. ^_^ Have you already planned out how to spend February 14 together? Remember that quality time keeps the flames alive!

Whether you’ve made reservations for a romantic dinner or organized a great outdoor adventure, it's important to put together an outfit that will help you stay pretty! After all, there's no shame in wanting this Valentine’s Day to be one for the books and the Instagram feed! *wink*

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

Romantic Breakfast/Brunch Date

Candlelit dinners are usually par for the course, but brunch dates have a special kind of charm. There's an extra kilig factor in getting to spend the first part of your day with the most special person in your life! Look for a quiet romantic spot with great comfort food to make it worth the early wakeup call. You can cheat your way to a shorter prep time by choosing a dress or terno like this beautiful peach combo. Finish the look with no-brainer but no-fail neutral accessories!

Lily Aldridge

Lily Aldridge

Theme Park Adventure

All the walking around can be pretty tiring, but theme parks are the most fun for kids at heart! Extra care must go to picking out your amusement park outfit though, as a roller coaster ride can be a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen. Pick out something comfy and snug, and style it with dependable sneakers. A pastel color palette can make even the most casual of pairings look more V-day appropriate. Just don’t forget to apply sunscreen and use makeup with SPF protection!

Olivia Palermo

Olivia Palermo

Out and About Travel Date

There's nothing quite like discovering new places and sharing the experience with your special someone in tow. Barring religious and cultural restrictions, you should also have fun with your outfit! You can’t go wrong with a classic silk white shirt, and pairing it with a flowy maxi skirt screams maximum comfort yet ultimate glam. This is a getup that can truly take you anywhere, anytime from a morning museum visit to casual evening stroll. It’s all about showing just enough skin without the outfit being uncomfortably too warm or cool. Complete the look with a small, essentials-only bag, your favorite sunnies, and comfy shoes.

Vanessa Hudgens

Vanessa Hudgens

Picnic Date

In a sea of white, pinks, and reds, a dark colored dress makes for a unique choice! Keep it feminine with a play on print, texture, or both, like this flower-printed maxi dress. The flowy cut and demure cutout makes this dress uber sexy while still hiding your tummy after pigging out on your packed treats.

Emma Roberts

Emma Roberts

Fancy Dinner Date

Break out the stilettos and red lipstick: this is where you go all out! There are only a few occasions in a year where you can take your vampy bodycon dress for a spin, and V-day is definitely one of them! Complete the look with strappy heels and a small clutch. And because your garb is already a statement in itself, keep it light with the jewelry;  some diamond ear studs and your best dress watch should be enough. 

Brie Larson

Brie Larson

Singles Night Out

So, you’re spending Valentine’s day without a partner this year. That doesn’t have to equate to sulking at home, flipping through Netflix, and chilling by yourself (although that’s perfectly awesome, too). Gather your similarly unattached gal pals, and party the night away! It wouldn’t hurt to turn a few heads on your way to the dance floor with a classy but sexy LBD.

What do you think about these date looks? Will you be copping them for V-Day, or do you have some of your own style ideas? Share them below!

Images via Vogue and PopSugar

Subtly pretty: Sleek Makeup Face Form Contouring & Blush Palette

I wonder if one day we'll look back and shake our heads at how insane we've become over contouring our faces to submission. Nevertheless, right now it's fun and the results cannot be denied. Who doesn't want a defined, photo-ready face in just a few minutes? I say let's hold on to our contour kits until something better comes along!

One of the latest kits to fall into my clutches is the Sleek Makeup Face Form Contouring & Blush Palette (P875). I quite like it - the colors are stunning, and I appreciate how subtle they are when layered together on my face. I've used it on a bunch of different skin tones and it contoured and highlighted perfectly each time.

There are three shades in the Light palette: a warm tan contour powder with a matte finish, a white gold highlighter, and a peachy pink blush with golden shimmer (strong NARS Orgasm vibes here). At first I thought that the contour powder would lean too orange/peach on my skin but it looks natural. I like that it doesn't stand out too much even when I've layered it several times.

The blush is my fave though! It doesn't show well in my FOTD photo, but this is lakas makaganda (super prettifying) guys. It looks fresh although if you don't like shimmery blushes, this might not work for you. I like shimmer in my face colors, honestly. It just looks more like human skin.

Staying power isn't too bad at about 4-5 hours. Retouching is not a problem as the slim, easy-to-carry compact has a nice wide mirror. 

I can't think of anything I don't like about the Sleek Makeup Face Form Contouring & Blush Palette. The colors are on point for my medium skin tone, the powders themselves are a dream to blend and diffuse, and the staying power is good. If you're looking for a studio level contour kit though, this may be too natural looking for your purposes. This is a fantastic everyday palette as it won't look weird under normal lighting, but under studio lighting, it may not hold up.

Will definitely keep on using my kit. ^_^ Let me know what you've tried this! Do you like contour kits or do you prefer single pans?

Splurge vs Save: Our top brown lipstick recos

If you read or hear “brown lipstick” and think of King Kylie, I don’t blame you! The girl is practically to thank (or blame?) for reviving a lip trend that rocked the 90’s before bold bright reds came into the picture. The #LipKitByKylie is beautiful and it still breaks my heart a little that I can’t get my hands on them. Even before the craze broke out, I’ve always liked my pinks with brown undertones, so naturally I went gaga over these notorious lip kits!

Image via Lip Kit by Kylie

Image via Lip Kit by Kylie

I would shy away from bright pinks and orange puckers, but you can count on me to embrace the brown lip trend wholeheartedly! If you want to get on this bandwagon with me, here’s a list of bullets you can add to your arsenal. I had to find a way to nurse my heartbreak over these sold-out kits, and thought I’d be a good friend and share these with you.

MAC Whirl (Image via Temptalia) 

MAC Whirl (Image via Temptalia) 

MAC Whirl and NYX Natural (Image via allintheblush.com) 

MAC Whirl and NYX Natural (Image via allintheblush.com) 

For those who like to keep it natural: The Pink Browns

Splurge: MAC Whirl Lipstick (P1,000). Before her lip kits came into the picture, MAC Whirl was the product behind Kylie Jenner’s famous pout. If I can only own one lipstick color in my life, it would be this beautiful brown rose shade – no doubt about it. Like most matte lip products go, this can be a teeny bit drying but it’s nothing a lip balm can’t solve!

Save: NYX Slim Lip Pencil in Natural (~P100). If you can’t part with your 1k bill though, try the NYX Slim Lip Pencil for a tenth of the price! Natural is a little lighter and a tad bit more orange than Whirl, but for 100 pesos? I’ll take what I can! The formula glides on creamily and doesn’t overly dry the lips. The only major issue is the time it would take to apply due to the slimness of this lip pencil.

Estee Lauder Naked Ambition (Image via Estee Lauder)

Estee Lauder Naked Ambition (Image via Estee Lauder)

Essence In The Nude (Image via adjustingbeauty.blogspot.com)

Essence In The Nude (Image via adjustingbeauty.blogspot.com)

For those who want to keep it light: The Brown Nudes

Splurge: Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Liquid Lip Potion in Naked Ambition (P1,300). Naked Ambition is a gorgeous light brown shade that you’d love if you’re into barely there sophisticated nudes. It’s the lightest nude I can get away with that doesn’t make me look anemic, and the formula is just gosh darn amazing! I tried the Estee Lauder Liquid Lip Potions at Project Vanity’s Lip Party and it BLEW MY FREAKING MIND. I completely stand by Liz’s proclamation that this is the best liquid lipstick in the market!

Save: Essence Lip Liner In The Nude (P99). Only this much for any makeup product seems sketchy, but Essence lip liners are so creamy and buttery that a quick Google search would tell you just how well loved these cult favorites are. In The Nude is a slightly peachy brown nude that you can either use as a liner to keep your lipstick from bleeding, a base color to make your main color pop out more vividly, or as nice lipstick that can stand its own.

Ofra Americano (Image via Glamourbox) 

Ofra Americano (Image via Glamourbox) 

Wet N Wild Mocha-Licious (Image via beauty-buffet.com)

Wet N Wild Mocha-Licious (Image via beauty-buffet.com)

For the full-on brown lippie convert: True Deep Browns

Splurge: Ofra Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Americano (P850). This brown matte potion is not for the faint of heart. The Ofra Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Americano is a rich dark chocolate shade that screams chic and edgy sophistication. Ofra makes creamy and long wearing liquid lipsticks, but they do hug every bit of your puckers so make sure to exfoliate prior to application!

Save: Wet N Wild Mega Last Lip Color in Mocha-Licious (P299). Similar to Americano, Mocha-Licious is a deep brown shade that could instantly make you feel like a #GirlBoss. If you can get past the rather flimsy packaging and focus on the amazing formulation, Wet N Wild lipsticks are a real bargain at 299 considering how smoothly they glide on and how rich the pigmentation is. 

So there you have it, our brown picks! What are yours? How do you feel about the brown lipstick trend?

Happy Skin x Plains & Prints #PrintsMadePretty Collection

Happy Skin always keeps new collections top secret until they come out. Once they launch, everybody goes, "Wow, that makes sense, why hasn't anybody else done this before?" With the big fuss about strobing and contouring in the last year, it's only natural for our beloved homegrown brand to come out with their own made-for-Filipina-skin kit. Happy Skin also went beyond the typical cosmetics launch and teamed up with the local retail giant Plains & Prints to create a cheeky fashion line! They launched just yesterday and I have first impressions + video coverage for you guys.

(We're that excited.)

I absolutely LOVE the lippie-themed pieces in the Plains & Prints Prints Made Pretty collection. There's a dress, a top, a shirt, and a skirt with the cute print. I got the shirt and the skirt because I love structured pieces. I imagine wearing this to meetings - it's so Project Vanity right??? I kept showing this off to everyone I saw after the event yesterday. I can't wait to wear them. The top is around P1,498 I think while the skirt is around P1,398.

Here's what happened at the event yesterday in Mango Tree, the Fort. Again, experimenting with video and seeing how it's like to cover an event live! Please please do subscribe to the Project Vanity YouTube Channel and let us know what you think.

Happy Skin launched the Glisten Up! Strobing Kit (P1,299), Glisten Up! Highlighter, Blush and Contour Cheek Sticks (P799 each). They also have new Shut Up & Kiss Me Moisturizing Matte Lippies (P649 each and P1,099 for the duo). I swatched up everything in the video so I hope you saw 'em.

What I have here is the Glisten Up! Strobing Kit. It has the Blush and Highlight Sticks inside.

I just got these yesterday so I don't have a full review yet, but off the bat I can see how easy they are to blend and how flattering these shades are. As usual, Happy Skin was flawless in choosing what's best for Pinay skin. The blush is a warm pink while the highlighter is a fine shimmery champagne. 

Lovely no? I'm wearing both of them right now as I write this haha. I also made a video showing off my FOTD so stay tuned for that! In the meantime I am working on getting the Contour Stick in Taupe which I think you guys would love. Happy Skin actually made a fun video showing off how it works and blends on skin.

So there you go! Currently the Prints Made Pretty Collection is exclusively available in Zalora from February 10 ti 17. Starting February 18, you can find them in Happy Skin and Plains & Prints stores nationwide. Have fun shopping! Let us know what you think of this exciting collab!

Five practical tips to achieve your best date look

Aaah, the great Valentine's Day Rush has begun! Reservations are being made, maximum preening is in effect, and FOTDs/OOTDs are carefully being coordinated in advance. Love is in the air, of course, and so is the desire to make the day perfect for that special someone. While there’s no absolute guarantee of a magical date night, here are some practical tips to make heart day beauty easier to figure out:

Go back to your starter colors. V-Day is generally not a good time to get experimental about your eye makeup. The basic palette of earth tones, nudes, pinks, and purples emulate the sweetness of the spring blooms in your bouquet. Incidentally, these are the same colors usually found in bridal makeup because of their ability to channel the look of classic and effortless beauty. It may not be the most exciting or fun-looking palette but it’s sure to be the most flattering!

Try: Pink Sugar Eyeshadow Palette, the neutral one. This has pigmented, uber flattering colors that would look amazing on you.

Pick out a subtle scent. If cuddling is on the menu, it’s a good idea to stay away from fragrances that will overwhelm anyone who comes in close proximity. A special date with your sweetheart should be about exuding a relaxed confidence and letting your personality shine through, so save those heady exotic blends for a less intimate encounter. Besides, a light scent that gently teases the nose gives them the perfect excuse to lean in for a whiff.

TryElie Saab Le Parfum, Elizabeth Arden Cherry Blossom, Estee Lauder Modern Muse, Philosophy Amazing Grace

Decide which kind of lippie side you are on. A great Valentine date is sure to conclude with a smooch or more! So, what type of lipstick should you have on? Either pick out a lightly-tinted balm type that rubs off quickly, or reach for the polar opposite: a kiss-proof lipstick formula. Anything in between will just make a mess that may put a damper on your romance. If you're still unsure, we made a poll to help you decide.

Try: We shared our top five recos in this article!

Yes, lip gloss is actually allowed. Lip gloss has a bad rap for being sticky-icky, but not all shine-enhancing formulas are created equal. Seek out a thinner formula that has a lot of glide, and keeps your pout moisturized and prepped for that good night kiss.

Try: TheBalm Read My Lips Lip Gloss

Own that blooming glow. On this occasion, replace the usual contour kit with strobing. A soft-focus shimmer, when applied sparingly, gives off an instant happy and in-love vibe. Also, the effects of strobing fade more subtly than contouring does so you don’t run the risk of having your features look lopsided at the end of the night. Why strive to look chiseled when you could look like an angelic goddess, instead? We made a video to help you out!

Try: Benefit Watt’s Up! Highlighter

So there you have it, go forth and have your great date on V-Day! Or not! It's up to you. Just remember to have fun with friends, alone, or have a chill day with the person you love the most. We just want you to look fabulous whatever you end up doing. ;)

Quickie: The new Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes

I used to turn my nose up at scented skincare. The fragrance would irritate your skin, they said. It would be counterproductive, they said. There might be some truth in perfumes as irritants but I've never had any bad experiences with scented skincare - at least, the right ones.

The more products you try, the more your skin and nose discerns what works best for you. ^_^ Me I love citrus scents. I love that citrus-derived ingredients have brightening properties and I love the energizing scent itself. That's why I'm digging the new Pink Grapefruit variant of the Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes (P495)! If you didn't like the green scent of the original wipes and prefer a zing in your cleansing routine, this is for you.

I love Burt's Bees wipes because they're thorough and the wipe itself is quite thick. I wish they were more wet but they function well enough even without an extra pump or two of micellar water. I use one wipe to take off my face, lip, and eye makeup. For waterproof products, I add some oil-based makeup remover to the wipe.

I also have the Sensitive Skin with Cotton Extract and the Cucumber & Sage For Normal To Dry Skin variants. I find they work almost the same, except the scents differ. I prefer Pink Grapefruit because of my obvious bias for citrus scents, haha.

So there you go! If you're looking for a wipe that smells great and claims to be 99.1% natural, try out the ones from Burt's Bees. ^_^ 

Beauty myths that Pinays may still believe

Have you ever blamed a zit that won’t quit on that oily burrito you had for lunch? How about meticulously drying your hair before bedtime because you don’t want to wake up a madwoman? We’ve all been there, but it doesn’t mean these wacky beauty myths should endure. The ones with crazy claims are easy enough to dismiss, but there are some that even the savvy, modern Filipina still believes in, like:

Image via Flickr user macrj

Image via Flickr user macrj

Oily skin doesn't need to moisturize. It’s been an ongoing belief that oily skin does not need moisturizer, because of a misconception it will add more shine and excess oil to their skin. Some girls even go to great lengths in an effort to “control” their skin from producing too much oil by constantly using toners and facial cleansers.

Truth is, your oil-control products might be the real culprit for your excessively oily skin! Your face overcompensates for the lack of moisture because you skip moisturizer and/or cleanse too much. So bag your fear of moisturizers, we say, and choose water-based or gel form moisturizers with non comedogenic ingredients to keep your skin hydrated. You can also check out our recommended P1,000 skincare regimen for oily/combi types.

Acne is caused by eating oily food. Okay, this may have some grain of truth but it’s not your intake that causes acne. You’re mostly likely breaking out due to the grease coming in contact with your skin and clogging your pores.

It’s still a good idea to limit your oily food intake though, and opt for a high fiber, low glycemic index diet with rich in fruits and vegetables instead.

You need to change your shampoo once in a while because shampoo familiarizes itself to your hair and no longer performs. Don’t you just hate it when your favorite shampoo just doesn’t feel as great as it used to? We admit we’ve often kept several brands in rotation, and changed shampoos periodically because using one brand continuously seems to make it lose its potency. Apparently, it’s not the shampoo’s fault. The problem lies in the build up from other hair products you use as well as your hair’s own natural oils. If this happens, clarifying shampoo is your friend. Use it once a week and then continue using your favorite shampoo.

Plucking one white hair will cause more white hair to grow. This is a myth with more believers than Justin Bieber, but it is simply not true. Melanocyte is responsible for the color of your hair, and it may malfunction due to age, stress, or genetics. Plucking one white hair will not make it multiply, but it will be replaced by another white hair if and when the hair root grows again. What may happen if you constantly pluck your hair is hair thinning, which probably makes it look like you have more white hair than usual. Instead of plucking, take advantage of the wide variety of hair coloring products available!

Pinching a newborn’s nose so it won’t be pango. If you’re not blessed with an aquiline nose, don’t resent your mom for not pinching the bridge of your nose enough when you were a kid. In fact, thank her! Experts say that this practice might actually do more harm than good, because a baby’s facial bones are still developing. Pinch her nose line (or any part of her face for that matter!) too hard, and you just might break her skin, cartilage, or bone.

Besides, a baby’s nose form is probably temporary. When babies are born, they pass through a cavity that is originally smaller than them, so their noses can get squashed and even slightly pushed to the side. The baby’s nasal bridge will develop over time, so stop with the pinching and enjoy on her cute features instead.

Crossing your legs can cause varicose veins. If there’s one thing you need to know about varicose veins, it’s that it is caused by our favorite G word: genetics. Other factors include obesity, gender, inactivity, age, and pregnancy. If you spend a lot of time in a seated position, regardless of whether you cross your legs or not, your inactivity may cause varicose veins.

Using menarche (first menstrual blood) as a face mask will prevent acne. Sorry, girls, just NO. You may have fallen prey to this unsanitary practice when you first got your period, you can keep other young girls from having to undergo the same ordeal. Gently explain that instead of preventing acne, the blood attracts bacteria and increases the likelihood of getting pimples and allergies. Skip the bloody face masks, please!

Got any beauty myths to debunk? Do share in the comments and let us know!

Sources: Baby Center, Eco Beauty Secrets, Women's Health, Cosmopolitan, Inquirer.net