Sunday, December 30, 2012

Why I Don't Blog Like I Used To...

Many drastic things has changed since my last blog and most of it are not good.

I have been very busy since I passed the board exams (yey!) and have gotten work immediately after that (which is a blessing). Unfortunately, stress took a toll on me in a very bad way.

Like most people, we get sick when our immune system is down, but unlike me, I don't get sick "the usual way" like when people just got a simple fever and flu. When my immune system is down, everything just goes downhill.

I'm so sick and tired of explaining my health situation on my blog that I tend to delete my post talking about my health issues hours after I posted it. Some may have read it, most of you have not, but I'm trying one more time to explain my current situation with my illness.

I have Atopic Dermatitis. Some call it eczema, skin asthma, etc.

The first time I've had this was 2 years ago ( can't remember the exact date). At first I thought it was just a simple rash or allergic reaction to something I applied on my skin or I have eaten. I did not bother to consult a doctor and just take antihistamines since I only flare up rarely and antihistamines treat the allergy quickly.

...And then it has gotten worse and I flare up often until it was late last year when I've experienced really bad allergies for weeks. My dermatologist gave me some hydrocortisone creams to temporarily ease my allergies and told me that I have atopic dermatitis.

Even though I'm not a doctor, I have a very good background on medicine and I know steroid creams do not cure atopic dermatitis and it is CURRENTLY NOT CURABLE. You can treat or prevent it, but you cannot cure it (as of now). It is a lifelong battle.

Months have passed since I've used hydrocortisone creams and still my skin flares up, I got fed up and consulted an Allergologist.

I started painful allergy tests (from pollens and other allergens that may go through respiratory route), blood tests, except for food allergy test (because it is so expensive I can't afford it anymore). I've found out that I am very allergic to mango pollens, coconut pollens, cockroach, ants, acacia pollens, dust mites, etc.

I've got so many allergies to so many things that are very common here in my country. So I started immunotherapy on April this year.

Immunotherapy is just injecting weakened allergens to you until your immune system has created an antibody
against the things that you are allergic to. The doctor told me that I could have as much as 80% immunity against the allergens and the 20% is up to me, my immune system and how I take care of my body.

Everything was going great because I flare up less and if ever I flare up, the allergies that manifest on my skin is not as bad as it was before. Unfortunately, this time of year (December 2012), got sick with flu and I was so stressed with work and all hell broke lose again. My immune system was down and as a result, the weakest part of my body is always the vulnerable one which is my skin was most affected.

I got bad atopic dermatitis flare up that I am still suffering now, even when I already recovered from flu and fever.

The part of my body that usually flare up is my face and neck, but now, my arms, ears and even some parts on my legs are already affected and they won't go away.

I've already consulted my allergologist about this and she said that it may not have been the allergens that I am allergic to that triggers my flare ups because I am already in my maintenance dose on my immunotherapy sessions, meaning that I already have antibodies on those things.

Now, the main culprit is most likely stress. Stress in everything. Not just work, but also personal things. With me looking like sh*t (sorry for the term) also contributed to my stress and it has affected my self esteem and self confidence. Yes, I am stressed and depressed.

So what does not blogging have to do with my explanation?

Besides having a hard time treating this dermatitis that I have on my face and neck, I am having a very hard time trying out things that may not aggravate my skin issues. Products that I can use are currently limited to the point that I already gave away most of the things that I have used before that worked for my then normal skin and even the things that I haven't even reviewed here in my blog. It pains me to not have the freedom to have more options when it comes to skincare and makeup because this has become one of my major hobbies and haven to de-stress myself. Yeah, I know it sounds shallow, but for someone who has a constantly depleting self esteem and self confidence (because I am literally getting uglier by the day), I feel like I have something that I love to do taken away from me.

Having said all that, I still will be trying to review things that work for my very dry, sensitive and damaged skin from atopic dermatitis. Things that may work for me may be limited, but I hope it would serve as some kind of "help" to people who are also dealing the same illness I currently have.

This will also serve as a guide for me to try to find, discover and research things, products, or alternatives to steroid creams that might help many people. I know it is a futile attempt to find a solution to a currently incurable illness, but at least I try to find ways to ease the pain...I just want to be normal again.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Review: Aveeno Active Naturals® Nourish+Condition Leave-In Treatment (Long detailed post)

Aveeno Active Naturals® Nourish+Condition Leave-In Treatment
with nourishing wheat complex
(deeply replenishes dry, damaged hair)

I've tried quite a few drugstore leave-in treatment even before my blogging days, just because I was lazy to apply conditioner after I finished shampooing my hair. haha! So just to save time, I apply a leave-in conditioner (when I remember to) on my hair and that's it.

I'm not that impressed with leave-in conditioners in the past because it feels sticky or greasy by the end of the day. Luckily, I saw this on display in the supermarket last March and I'm happy I bought this.

"AVEENO NOURISH +CONDITION LEAVE-IN TREATMENT does much more than nourish and condition - it quenches the thirstiest hair with a fusion of deep conditioners and moisturizers, recharging it with healthy new life. Hair is instantly revitalized and scientific studies show that just three uses helps repair dry damaged hair."

"This exclusive ACTIVE NATURALS® formula, infused with Nourishinh Wheat Complex, is designed to feed your hair - replenishing moisture as it zeroes in on the weakest part of hair - fortifying the hair shaft with protein where it needs the most."

- it also claims that it's gentle on skin and color-treated hair. (I just made a shortcut on the other description since I don't really like copying and re-typing what's on the product.)

Current Price:
at around P300-P400. I know it's a bit more expensive than our usual leave-in conditioner, but I'd rather spend a bit more on a great product than throw my money on something that does not work for me.

Place bought:
SM Hypermarket. I don't know where else you can get this, but I'm pretty sure other supermarkets or health and beauty store that carries international products have this.

it is designed as a handy spray plastic bottle which is very convenient to use.

Spray all over the hair or on concentrated areas as desired. Comb through to distribute evenly. Do not rinse.

 (it's hard to take a full picture of it, so I'll just type this)
Water, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Triticum vulgare (Wheat) gluten, Triticum vulgare (Wheat) germ oil, Mauritia flexuosa fruit oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Quaternium-91, Glycerin, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Butylene glycol, Amodimethicone, Fragrance, Propylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate. May also contain Citric Acid. This product contains wheat proteins.

How do I/WE use it?
My brother (he's obsessed with trying stuff that would make his hair look great) and I have used it with wet, damp and dry hair and it still performs the same.

I usually spray it on my damp hair after a shower and concentrate mostly on the ends of my hair then I spray just a bit on the scalp area and then comb my hair to distribute the product evenly.

My brother usually spray this when his hair is still wet, when his hair is damp and when it's already dry. A WHOLE LOT OF SPRAYS I TELL YA!!! I pretty much have to hide this from him because he's like the haircare monster. ahaha!

(Just for reference):
Me and my brother's hairtype 

I have fine, naturally straight hair with no volume. I don't really have hair issues or bad hair days. I'm quite lucky to acquire this hairtype from my father. I don't fuss with my hair that much and my haircare only consists of shampoo, conditioner (sometimes) and a leave-in treatment (sometimes)

On the other hand, my brother has a thick, wavy, unruly, but soft hair. According to him, it's really hard to manage his hair and it costs him so much just to have a good haircut and style that won't make him look like a tornado has ran over his head.
His haircare consists of shampoo, conditioner, serum, MY leave-in conditioner, wax, gel, moose, hairdryer etc. you name it, he's already tried it.

Both our scalp tend to be oily by the end of the day, depending on the weather or our daily activities.

the scent is amazing!! it also lasts through out the day even in our hot and humid climate. It helps my hair to not smell bad due to sweating all day. My brother (who is very athletic) also loves the smell and how it stood up through out his very busy day.

It feels like you're just spraying a lovely scented water on your hair. 

It feels a bit slippery when sprayed on damp hair like a normal conditioner would, but it dries quite fast and I'm not kidding when I say it makes my hair shiny, more healthy looking. My hair feels lighter and it gives my hair more volume and it lasts throughout the day.

My brother spray it more liberally and consistently than me so obviously, it's not sticky or greasy on your hair. He loves this so much because his hair has become quite manageable every time he uses this. He also said that his hair feels softer and he wants this for himself and buy myself a new one...yeah...siblings always do that.

Any skin reactions?

Will I buy this again?
definitely!!! then I'm going to hide it somewhere...hahaha!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Review: Chapstick Lipbalm (Cherry)

I remember buying this on impulse, just because my husband and I were listening to Katy Perry's song, "I Kissed a Girl". We were laughing and goofing around in the car because of traffic. Then he curiously asked me if it's true that a cherry flavored Chapstick would taste like cherry.

I said, "I don't know. I haven't even tried Chapstick before. Let's buy one, then I'll eat it!! hahaha!"
Believe it or not, this is my very first Chapstick...I remember way back in high school (I have no clue about makeup) my first lipbalm was a Maybelline brand and I was so happy with it that it didn't really piqued my interest to buy this lipbalm eventhough this was popular among girls in my school.

So yeah...we went to the drugstore to buy one and laughed all the way home.

Current Price: 
at around P80.00 (I bought this last, last year)

Place bought: 
Mercury Drug, but it's also available pretty much everywhere in Watsons and other department stores in health and beauty sections here in Manila.

the good ol' packaging I always see my friends in high school use.

Simple, no brain-er design. Makes me remember my high school days.

Honestly, when I saw that it was made by Wyeth (popular for baby's milk formulation), I had high hopes for this.

Just for reference, I still have very, very dry lips (maybe due to my atopic dermatitis too). EOS lipbalms doesn't work on me unless when my lips are in its "normal" state (which does not happen often) and the only things that currently works for me is the The Face Shop lip care cream and my new Nivea Med Protection lipbalm (I have to review this soon).

Ingredients, Expiry date and other info:

it's great that this is double sealed for protection from nasty customers who likes to destroy and open new stuff, then they don't buy it.

it really is cherry scented, BUT it is not cherry flavored...yeah, quite unfortunate when I finally got to know it's not cherry flavored. So the song is kinda misleading??? hahahaha! just joking!!! hehehe! Anyway, although it is cherry scented, sometimes, the scent makes me a bit nauseous.

nothing. at least on me it doesn't have any.

Color in the tube is more of a berry red.

it feels a bit waxy and a bit greasy if you apply too much.

when applied, it's colorless. I've layered that (in the picture) many times and it still gives no pigment. Oh well, I didn't really expect any. I did not bother to take a picture of my lip swatch because the color (if there's any) won't show up anyway. My hand is obviously way lighter than my lips.

Does it moisturize my lips?
it does TO A CERTAIN EXTENT, but it's not enough to make my lips not peel.

Will I buy this again?
probably not.

Any skin reactions?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review/Swatch: Nyx Matte Lipstick in Sierra

A few months back (before I went totally MIA), I've purchased some NYX products and these were one of them. I'll just start with NYX Matte Lipstick in Sierra first because I will compared this to my NYX Round Lipstick in Sierra afterwards.

Current Price: P250-P300 (depending on where you purchase it)
Place bought: I bought this from Digitaltraincase

definitely a step up from the packaging of Nyx round lipstick, it is also longer in length than the RL (round lipstick) but the weight is lighter which sometimes make it feel flimsy although it's not. 

it has a slight pleasant scent (in my opinion), way better than the RL's soapy smell.


it obviously feels matte (duh..) so be ready to prep your lips with some lipbalm/lip moisturizer. I find that I like this even better than the NYX Matte lipcream because it doesn't dry the edges of my lips (which is a staple problem for me) even if I wear this all day.

amazing! This is the reason why I love matte lipsticks because of the great pigmentation in one swipe and if you're like me who likes to purse their lips every now and then, matte lipstick is great because it also lessens the risk of it budging or feathering.

NYX ML in Sierra applied sparingly (in dabbing motions). It's just like MLBB shade.

If you find a matte lipstick that looks chalky when you swipe it on your lips, it is better to apply it in dabbing motions to create an even look (you should put on a lip moisturizer first before doing this). 

I find that, sometimes, people would just complain about something so small like that and just throw or ditch the product without making an effort to make it work to their advantage. There are other ways to apply/or use a product ya know. 

NYX ML in Sierra full on application

Now, the comparison to my NYX RL in Sierra
Honestly, I was on the fence on getting the NYX ML in Sierra because I though the shade would just be the same like the RL one, but I'm obviously wrong.

NYX ML in Sierra has a brownish, slight reddish undertone unlike the RL which is more on the brown side with a bit of peachy undertone.

Swatched side by side:
if I were to choose, I'd go for the NYX Matte lipstick in Sierra than the RL because it's more wearable for me and the formulation and scent is way better.

Any skin reactions?
None at all.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

NYX Powder Blush in Summer Peach and Comparison w/ Pinched

Another NYX Powder blush review. You can tell that I love them because of it's quality, pigmentation and affordable price.

NYX powder blush in Summer Peach
I haven't really seen any swatches on this powder blush when I was planning on purchasing it at that time. I think this was one of the recent blushes that NYX have released during the summer (in the US) last year? I don't know...

all I know was I'm quite curious to take the plunge in buying it (or any other product that interests me) even though I haven't heard/read about it. The more unhyped the product is, the better, at least for me...hahaha!

Place bought:
online at Digitaltraincase (link on my sidebar)

Price when bought:
- P259 (prices subject to change...just check her site every now and then.)

it looks kinda like the peachy version of NARS Orgasm in the pan. No, I don't have any NARS blushes (yet), but I've seen a ton of photos and swatches of that famous blush that I got tired of lemming for it. Anyway, the shimmers in the blush is not gritty or chunky in anyway.

- affordable
-readily available
- the shimmers are not gritty and doesn't look chunky when applied on the cheeks. It just looks like you have a healthy peachy glow...very cliche' I know. The shimmers are not really in-your-face unlike the NYX powder blush in Pinched (refer to the swatches).
- lasts long on my cheeks


- If you have the NYX Powder blush in Pinched, you would actually be surprised that it looks similar to the NYX Summer Peach when you look at it in person, but if you look at it very closely and swatch it side by side, they're really different from one another.

In the Pan:
Summer Peach
- peach color with golden shimmers

- pinky peach (more pink) with silver shimmers

at first glance, they look very similar, but if you look closely, Summer Peach is a true peach color that has golden shimmers while Pinch is a pinky peach (more on the pink side) color with silver shimmers.


(all pictures are "clickable" to enlarge)

As you can see, there's a big difference in the color and how the shimmers are distributed when applied on the skin. The shimmers of Pinched is more obvious than the Summer Peach which just looks like a subtle golden sheen. 

I did not swatch this heavily.

Will I repurchase?
Definitely. especially the other colors I still don't have. (^_^)

NYX Powder Blush in Terracotta

It may look like a shimmery bronzer in the pan, but trust me you'll love this as a blush, especially if you're on the medium, warm skintone. Since I'm sickly/sallow pale brown (yes. pale, but brown) most of the time, I grabbed the opportunity to try this out, thinking it would make my skin look healthy at least...and I was not disappointed. Kudos to me, I trusted my "INKSTINKS" (INSTINCTS) this time. hahaha!

NYX Powder Blush in Terracotta

And yes, this was included in my NYX haul (along with other NYX stuff that I haven't reviewed until now..haha!) last Dec. when my trusted online seller was having a promo on her NYX on hand items.

Place Bought:
online through Digitaltraincase (link on my sidebar)

Price when bought:
- I bought this during the sale, but you can still purchase this at a lower price if you place your orders during her pre-order period. I don't know if that's still ongoing, just check her site.

at first glance, it just looks just like a shimmery bronzer, but on my cheeks, it looks amazing as a blush. I use this if I want a healthy flush of color on my cheeks without going for the usual matte red, pink or orange. I never did use a strong color on my cheeks anyway since I usually do either a bold lip color or a bold eyeshadow color.

-applies smoothly
-very pigmented.
-affordable and readily accessible.
-gives you a healthy glow
-lasts long on my cheeks

-I don't think it will suit people with very pale skin. It will, but you have to be very light handed when applying this blush if you have very pale skin. (updated: April 23, 2014)

as always, all of my pictures are "clickable" to enlarge

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Review/Swatch: NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams

I'm kinda late in the game when it comes to reviewing products especially from one of my current favorite drugstore brands, NYX. Besides that fact that I'm saving up for more important things, I'm becoming more picky when it comes to trying out products...comes with age?

I've always been eyeing NYX soft matte lip creams since its first launch last year (I think). I just never got around in purchasing them because I've read mixed reviews about it, but since there were so many online sales going on last Dec. 2011-Jan. 2012, I grabbed the opportunity to try the lip creams myself AND buy some more NYX stuff besides these lip creams (yes, reviews and swatches to follow).

NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams
When these were on sale, the other colors were sold out almost instantly after being posted online. It was hella crazy!!! So I only got 2 colors.

- the cap is rubberized, same feel as what NARS packaging have.
- It doesn't feel and look cheap when you see it first hand. 

(As always, all of my photos in my blog are clickable to enlarge)

Place bought:
online at Digitaltraincase (link on the side bar)

How much:
at that time it was sold on sale for P250. I think you can still purchase it for P250 if you order during their pre-order period.

Before I do my usual swatchfest, I'll just give an outlined review about these lip creams.

- it has the consistency that's the same as a cake frosting. It has a lightweight, creamy almost mousse-y texture.

- affordable and easily accessible since I've seen so many online sellers sell Nyx products nowadays.
- smells good
- nice, wearable color selection that can be worn by a wide range of skintones.
- feels nice on the lips upon application.
- love the colors. Most of them are very wearable for daytime.

- dries my lips (especially the outline of my lips) after 30 mins. or so.
- it's not as long lasting like a regular matte lipstick, at least for these nude shades. I've gotta try the darker shades and see if it lasts much longer than the nude ones.
- color fades unevenly on my lips.
- accentuates the lines and dead skin on my lips.
- slips and slides on my lips upon application.




Will I purchase again?
- even though these lip creams performed on the mediocre side, I think I'll still try the other much hyped up  colors in this lip range because I'm just like that. A curious cat. 

Yes, I think of these lip creams as a hyped up product that's why it's better for me to experience a product first hand to know if what other blog reviews say is true or it's just an exaggeration.

Monday, January 9, 2012

In Depth Review: Avon Glazewear Clear Lip Gloss and Intense Lip Gloss

Believe it or not, this lip gloss from Avon has been one of my consistent favorite and most "used" product in my collection. I don't know why I haven't blogged about this sooner, besides me being a bit forgetful and lazy. 
I think it's also very usual for people who do reviews to forget to blog about things that they love to use almost everyday than the things that they don't usually use that much. Very ironic, I know.

 I think, I bought these early last year when they were still introducing this as one of their new products in Avon lip products line. At that time, it was more or less P200. Now, their current price as of this January 2012 is P375 (regular price). I just don't know how much these are when they are on sale, but I would recommend purchasing these when they are on sale which happens quite often. 

You can watch out for their latest sales in their online brochure in their website.

Avon Glazewear Clear Lip Gloss and Avon Glazewear Intrense Lip Gloss

Place bought:
Avon "office" branches

To tell you the truth, I signed up for a membership to be an "Avon Lady" in the past. Ya know, people who sell Avon products and such. Since I don't have a gift for sales because as I said before, I am a wimp, I signed up for their membership just to have greater discounts on their products which gives me bigger savings. So whenever there's a sale, sale price + my membership discount = cheaper price and bigger savings.

Unfortunately, since it was taking a very, very, very long time for them to process my membership ID, I decided not to renew my membership w/ them. I'm quite disappointed with how they manage the processing of membership, etc. I hope they improve it soon.

Current Price:
As of January 2012, it's P375 (regular price)
top to bottom: Clear, Honey, Crimson, Rich Rose, Cherry Liqueur

At that time I bought these, there are a total of 6 varieties of these lip glosses, but I only bought 5 of them except for the "Buttered Rum". Currently, I think "Honey" (2nd at the top) is already discontinued bec. I did not see it included in their online brochure.

I can only describe the smell as a cross between caramel-y and vanilla-y candy smell. It smells pleasant and it is not overpowering.

Texture and Consistency:
When looking at it, it looks like it has a gel-like consistency. The texture of these are AMAZING. it is not sticky or runny and it last longer than a normal lip gloss. It feels very comfortable to wear bec. it does not dry my lips at all.

Avon Glazewear Clear Lip Gloss w/ SPF15
If you look at the picture closely, you could tell that this lip gloss has seen better days. The label is starting to fade. You could tell I use this very often.

I'm not kidding when I say that this clear lip gloss can stand on its own without using a lip balm underneath. This is like a hybrid of a lip balm and a lip gloss. You should try it to believe it.

I was really surprised with this bec. it really moisturizes my lips even when I'm not using a lip balm underneath. Its moisturizing ability last for quite long time too.

- affordable
- versatile (can be used on top of a lipstick or on its own w/o appyling lip balm underneath)
- great moisturizing ability that lasts for quite a long time.
- has spf 15
- feels very comfortable to wear. It's not waxy.
- does not have an overpowering smell.

- If you don't want to stain the doe foot applicator when using this lip gloss on top of a lipstick, you have to use a separate applicator on your lips. I realized this too late when I saw my stained doe foot applicator. (refer to the picture above)

Avon Glazewear Intense Lip Gloss

This line of lip glosses has the same moisturizing texture and consistency like the Glazewear Clear lip gloss. The only difference is that this is pigmented...really pigmented...hence, the name "INTENSE".

I would describe these lip glosses as a bit of a lip balm, lip gloss and a liquid lipstick hybrid because it doesn't dry my lips, it has the shine of a lip gloss and the pigmentation of a liquid lipstick.

AMAZING. very pigmented. You only need to dab a few dots on your lips and spread it either with your finger or a lip brush and the color still stands out. I can still go crazy and apply it full on your lips with the doefoot applicator for a very opaque and glossy finish. 
Depending on how "intense" you want it, you could apply sparingly for a natural, healthy looking lips or apply liberally for an opaque, glossy finish.

Lasting Power:
I would say 2-3 hours (w/o eating or drinking) which is amazing for a "lip gloss". If ever you're going to try these soon, note that when the pigmentation starts to wear off, it gives you a natural colored looking lips, like you've just applied a tinted lip balm on. As a result, still great looking lips!

Cherry Liqueur
a very beautiful berry red color


(When used sparingly)

(Full on application)

a peachy nude color

I don't know if they discontinued this, if they did, it is very unfortunate because this gives me one of the best nude looking lips w/o me looking like I'm sick. I think this would look great on morenas/tanned skin ladies too. I just think this lip gloss was very underrated. 

pls. ignore the lint...hihihi!


(When applied sparingly)

(Full on application)

Rich Rose
soft rosy pink color

One of my favorite to use almost everyday besides Honey. 
The label sticker underneath is already gone because I use this very often. (^_^)


(When applied sparingly)

 (Full on application)

a dark wine color w/ very fine, gold sparkles

this is my least favorite to wear, not because it doesn't look good, but because it is hard for me to pull off this look whenever I wear this on lazy days. On lazy days, I only wear sun screen and lip gloss. That's all. BUT! It looks vampy when I have makeup on. Not for everyday lazy days, but I still love it.

look at the fine shimmers...pretty...
Do not worry, this lip gloss doesn't feel gritty at all. It's not even noticeable once you applied it on your lips. It just makes your lips look more "juicy".


(When applied sparingly)

(Full on application)

- affordable
- lasts for quite a long time.
- a little goes a long way.
- moisturizing.
- very pigmented. You can adjust the pigmentation on how you apply the lip gloss on your lips.
- does not have an overpowering smell.

- none!!!

Would I repurchase this when I run out?
- yes! if only I know someone who sells this.

The lighting, color of my skin and my lip swatches changes a bit because I use NATURAL LIGHTING as much as possible. I shot these pictures at a different time and date (I also have responsibilities outside cyberspace ya know, hahaha!), hence the difference when pictures are compared. I find that my camera tends to capture clearer and more accurate images when the sun is really bright in the middle of the day (the time when I'm usually busy).