Commenter of the month winner, and December gift

Saturday, and I finally have time to settle down and pick the commenter of the month for November. :D She is Jean Melgar. She's been reading Project Vanity for years now, I think, and I'm glad to give her the Clinique set as a hearty thank you. 

And now, for the December gift!

Ta-dah! The commenter of the month for December will get a VMV Hypoallergenics facial of her choice.

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Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Pink

Do you know how the Bobbi Brown empire started? No? Ten lipsticks. That's how. Bobbi Brown is famous for her foundations, gel eyeliner, and blushes, but it was with lipsticks that the cosmetics company started off in the 1990s. You should read her lipstick diaries, an account of the inspirations and descriptions of her first ten lipsticks to understand the love that went into making them.

I got my first Bobbi Brown lipstick around two years ago when I got acquainted with the brand. It was called Brownie Pink and became my constant companion to, well, everywhere. It was a wearable color that was my perfect MLBB! For Bobbi, lipsticks are considered as foundations. That is, the most flattering lipstick is the one that's the exact shade of your lips. That's what Brownie Pink was to me: my lip foundation.

Of course, you should also have fun with your lip color by trying out bright and sultry shades. I recently got a Bobbi Brown lipstick simply called Pink, and oh, what a gorgeous pink it is!

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For the men in your life: Watsons Men

Skincare, whether you are a man or a woman, is not an option. There's no stigma when women take precious care of their skin, but men? It seems that the prevailing thought is that if you're a guy and you use something other than soap and shampoo, you're considered metrosexual or even gay. That's unfair and quite counterproductive. If men can't not brush their teeth, then they also can't not use a proper facial wash, toner, and moisturizer.

Maybe the stigma lies in how products are packaged. Let me share a conversation I had with someone from a giant skincare company. The rep remarked that they are surprised that their new facial wash (then) was so successful, even men were buying them. It appears that men thought the new facial wash was for them simply because the tube was black.

Maybe guys don't feel as shy about skincare when the packaging is very much male. What do you think? If that's the case then they will love Watsons Men skincare line, with it's macho metal tubes and sporty bottles.

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Coming up!

These days I am scrabbling for time to properly blog. :( I want to write more how-tos and tips, but those usually take me a good two hours to do. So, for the meantime, I'll be doing rapid-fire posts instead.

Snaps watching over my stuff as they wait to be photographed.

I just finished with a massive product photo session so I'd like to give you an idea of what I'll be writing about in the coming weeks!

Benefit Hervana blush. This much-awaited blush is much-awaited for a reason.

Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion. Awesome stuff, this from a girl who is super picky about moisturizers.

Benefit Watt's Up Highlighter. Cream-to-powder illuminator that doesn't look weird.

Lancome Teint Miracle. "Light creator" sums up what it does!

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Benefit Brow Zings

Since Benefit is opening today, I thought I'd direct the spotlight to one of my favorite products from the brand: the Benefit Brow Zings (P1,600). I was quite loyal to my old routine (pencil + powder) but after coming across Brow Zings, well, it was love at first try!

Before, I usually did my eyebrows a shade lighter, a bit blonder. But as some readers said in my light vs dark brows post, darker eyebrows frame my round face better and somehow matches my personality. That's why I've lately taken to wearing darker brows with the help of Brow Zings. 

What I love about the product 

  • The colors look dark in the pan but they never give me scary, harsh-looking eyebrows. I'd say the effect looks quite natural. The wax + powder is pigmented but just enough to shape and shade, not draw on the eyebrows.
  • The wax keeps my eyebrow hair in place. It thickens the hair and shades the skin underneath so it looks like I have lush-looking eyebrows. The powder sets the wax wonderfully and helps fill in the gaps. They work wonderfully together!

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Parian Brush Cleaner

If you're lazy when it comes to washing your makeup brushes, raise your hand! *Raises hand* Well, you and I are in luck. There are such things as instant brush cleaners to make our lives easier. You simply spray it/ swirl on your brush, wipe, and voila it's as good as new.

I've heard and read of such wondrous inventions before but it's my first time to actually use one: the Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner (P800). It's a solution that melts makeup off your brushes, leaving it sanitized, deodorized, and ready to use in less than a minute. Professional makeup artists, theatre performers, and makeup studios love this stuff because it allows them to reuse their brushes quickly.

Scent. The first thing you'll notice about Parian is that it smells strongly of oranges (it has the essence of California organes, I hear).

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Avon Outspoken Intense

Last year, Avon launched Outspoken, a perfume in collaboration with pop star Fergie. It was designed to be daring and sexy and I think it delivered! This year, Avon followed up the success of the scent with a new version called Outspoken Intense (P999).

Outspoken Intense comes in a silver glass bottle with a cap similar to a crystal decanter's. It's a simple design that won't immediately say "expensive", but once you touch it and hold it in your hand you'll feel that the bottle is actually heavy. It's glass even though it looks like plastic.

As for the scent, I love it! The old version is floral and feminine, but it is underscored by a muskiness that lends it a masculine touch.

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Capsule review: Majolica Majorca Glass Trick Collection

Cinderella was my favorite fairy tale when I was a child. But now that I'm a little older and consider Cinderella as stupid and weak (well not counting Drew Barrymore's Ever After), my favorite is now East of the Sun and West of Moon. The heroine in that story has more guts and determination than all Disney princesses combined. That's the kind of girl I want to be when I grow up!

Anyway! This whole flashback is brought you by Majolica Majorca's latest collection called Glass Trick. It pays homage to the immortal glass shoes that generations have come to know and love (at some point...), and features glossy and shimmery products that mimic the effect of glass. 

I'm going to review the whole collection quickly, so you know what to check out!

Dress Glove Cream (P325). This is a hand cream that has the sweet scent of the Majoromantica Perfume. It also has fine shimmer, so it makes hands sort of glow.

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Rustan's Beauty Source

Going inside Rustan's and inquiring about prices is nerve-wracking: agree or disagree? Call it shallow but checking out the luxury store was so intimidating when I was still in college! I knew I couldn't afford most of the things there, so I was quite shy and a bit scared to look and ask around. I couldn't bear the thought of being ignored or looked down on.

Now that I'm working though I am less intimidated. :P Once I was over my insecurity I found out that I was wrong about them. The people in Rustan's are actually super nice and always helpful! I love the attendants in the Clinique counter, as well as in Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown, NARS, Paul & Joe, and Laura Mercier - the ones in Rustan's Makati, where I always visit. They're very warm, easy to talk to, and I never felt unwelcome.

Anyway! I just wanted to share the new website called the Rustan's Beauty Source. At first I thought it was an online store like Beauty Bar, but it's actually more of an online catalogue with photos and prices.

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Beauty PRO Cosmetics Palettes: Swatches and FOTDs

Brigitte is a true-blue makeup addict who started collecting, reading, then blogging about cosmetics a few years ago. Then, she moved on to study and practice makeup artistry professionally. Finally, she came out with her own cosmetics line called Beauty PRO Cosmetics only recently. If that's not passion, then I don't know what is!

I like to think of Beauty PRO as makeup made by a makeup addict for makeup addicts. It has the perfect pigmentation and texture, with carefully chosen colors that are designed to be wearable (the Sweet and Smoky palette) and exciting (Crazy Colour). Let's go through the pros and cons, shall we?

What I love about the product

  • Beautiful colors that offer amazing color payoff. You don't need a base to make them pop out.
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Five ways to give yourself a makeover this season

Ahh, December. It’s the month where frenzied shoppers stake out bazaars and mall sales as if shopping for the end of the world. It’s also the season for Christmas parties and family reunions. That’s why this month is the best time to give yourself a makeover - everything is on some sale or discount, plus you need to look your best for the barrage of parties coming your way anyway!

So, here’s some friendly advice on how you can change your look to match not only this season, but for the whole new year ahead.

Get an updated hair cut. A new hairdo can profoundly change the way you look to other people as well as yourself. That’s why a smashing cut is a must-have if you want to reinvent yourself. If you’re not ready for new hair though, you can just style or color it differently; ask for the advice of a hair stylist like, say, Lourd Ramos of Creations Salon (Glorietta 5).

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Liz Lanuzo Comments
Hint of juicy tint: Nivea Fruity Shine Lip Balm

I wasn't impressed the last time I tried a Nivea lip balm. The formula was somewhat better than similarly-priced alternatives in the drugstore, but I found that the balm didn't do much to actually moisturize my lips. It dried up quickly so I had to re-apply several times during the day, too. But that was two years ago, I think! Nivea has gone a long way and went on to refomulate their lip balms.

The Nivea Fruity Shine Lip Balm (P80) is a non-waxy, moisturizing lip product that comes in three variants: Cherry, Strawberry, and Pomegranate. They feel wonderful on my lips plus they offer a hint of tint that goes on evenly.

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FAB Salon opens in Valero Street, Makati

There's really nothing like a gaggle of girls just chillin' like villains in a fabulous salon. It's all laughter and crazy one-liners as everyone does their favorite thing, which is to primp and prettify just because!

That's what happened at the opening of the newest FAB Salon branch in Valero Street, Makati. Beauty bloggers got together to try the salon's services such as hot oil, foot spa, mani and pedi, hair cut, and even a makeup makeover. They are pretty good considering the fact that FAB Salon is a relatively inexpensive salon. I already reviewed some of their services here!

I got a hot oil and a looooong overdue haircut.

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Secret weapon: Acne Clearing Solutions from the House of Obagi

Remember my war with acne around three, four months ago? It's almost over now. I'm enjoying relatively good skin lately since the pimples have stopped. Well, I still get one or three on occasion but they're not cystic. It means they don't leave a deep mark and it's easier to get rid of them.

Anyway, I have recently re-discovered these acne drying products I bought from the House of Obagi three months ago. I got two new (thankfully small) pimples last week so I needed a quick fix, and thought of giving these Acne Clearing Solutions another chance.

Why another chance? Well, the last time I used them, they dried up my skin quite horribly. My face felt rough, dull, and flaky. After that I swore off using them because it took my skin weeks to recover! But I think I was just applying them incorrectly. I used to pat two squirts of the liquid all over the affected area and, predictably, that area became extremely dry (Duh! Why didn't I think of that earlier). Now I use a cotton bud to apply the product only on the pimple itself.

Works like magic, I tell you. My pimples dry up overnight. That's awesome considering that these Acne Clearing Solutions cost only P500 for one bottle.

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Where I get my accessories

The trend today is to "excessorize", i.e., to pile on different accessories in two or more body parts. I do think it's a fun style and some people can carry it wonderfully, but more often that not it dives into the realm of Trying Too Hard. Accessories are best worn as the highlight of your outfit - not the star of the show. You want people to ogle your face and overall look, not the shiny distracting things dangling from your limbs.

My accessory style is simple, verging between cute and ornate. I pick out sets of accessories and just match them according to what I'm wearing for the day. My sets usually consist of a pair of earrings, bangle, and then a ring, but I take out (or add) depending on the outfit I'm wearing. I don't want to look too overdressed! I group the sets according to their color: goldtone, silver, bronze/ battered metal and level of being casual or statement.

Anyway, I just want to share where I like to get my accessories and why. :)

Pinkbox. Since I re-discovered this homegrown brand last August, I always check out its stores wherever I can find them. There are now more trendy pieces at reasonable price points. I also like that there are tons of choices. Check out the earrings and bangles! 

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