Thursday, December 8, 2011

Purederm 3 in1 Beauty Magic BB Cream

I've already done a review on Purederm's other variant of this BB cream in the past right here. While that one has shimmer in it, this one is the matte version. I'm sure by now y'all are familiar with BB creams. The multi-tasking pseudo-foundation that first gain popularity in Korea. BB Creams have the coverage like that of tinted moisturizers with SPF of a sunscreen and other skin care benefits. If you're always in a hurry and is a busy bee, BB creams might make your life easier. Though not all BB creams are created equal. Most of them come off too white for the Filipina skin and not all skin types react pleasantly to it. Purederm's BB Creams are quite affordable compared to others out in the market and is much more accessible to the public. Compared to the Pearl variant I've reviewed before which looks ashy, off the tube, this one has a yellow undertone.

This used to retail for Php600+ but I chanced upon this at Watson's Makati for half the price at Php329 so I decided to pick this up and try it out. I really wanted it for the SPF factor and I thought it be a perfect base to even out my skin tone. But this is quite deceiving. If you'll see below, the yellow undertone sort of vanishes when this BB cream is spread out. It turns almost white. So, you'd have to be careful from applying too much. A pea size might be safe enough, but then again, with that much you should not expect much coverage with this thing. 

The cap isn't great either. As tight as you screw it on, you always end up with a messy tube.

I'm glad I got this at a sale price otherwise, I'd be so pissed off. I still have to find a way to work this out for me so it won't go to waste. Any suggestion?

Till then,

Monday, December 5, 2011

Double Review: Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion and Mario Badescu Drying Mask

First product from Mario Badescu I tried, the glycolic foaming cleanser, impressed me a lot and love till this day. Helps a lot in terms of preventing pore congestion but still wasn't enough to ward off those pesky cystic acne breakouts that would pop out every so often. While using the cleanser, I had one so stubborn it won't go away. Since MB left me a good first impression, I turned to them again for a possible solution. Browsing through their website, I across the buffering lotion which, according to them:

Price: Php 1,095 29mL bottle
Place to buy: Rustan's essences or
"Specifically designed to treat large, deep, cystic acne, the buffering lotion covers large erupted areas for overall treatment. Formulated with nourishing B vitamins and amino acids for healthy skin as well as soothing anti-inflammatory herbal extracts to promote healing. Reduce cystic acne fast with this deep penetrating, fast absorbing formula. "
INGREDIENTS: Deionized Water,Isopropyl Alcohol,Sodium Sulfate, Zinc Oxide,Hydrolyzed Serum Protein, Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein,Pyridoxine, NiacinamidePanthenol,Propylene Glycol, AllantoinBiotin

Same with Mario's bestselling drying lotion, the buffering lotion's solution also separates into two components. But opposed to the former wherein shaking of the bottle is strongly discouraged, the buffering lotion should be shaken thoroughly before application. 

see that white stuff at the bottom?

Consistency is liquid, not creamy. Sort of reminds me of a regular eye drop with its pointed spout. Also smells like rubbing alcohol. Not surprising due to one of it's active ingredients:isopropyl alcohol.

I was really excited to use this when I got home. I've religiously applied it on the existing stubborn cystic breakout I had for a week. Sad to say though, it did not work for me. Another one even started to appear just beside it. I was really disappointed. But I had major expectations as well, so that is unavoidable.  

Mario Badescu recommends this to be used hand in hand with their drying mask but I ain't ready to shell out more dough scared that it may not work just like the buffering lotion. A sample was what I needed. But you know what happened the last time I asked at Rustan's right? So I decided to just go directly to Mario Badescu for some assistance. Let me just say here, that MB has a stellar customer service. I guess this is one of the reasons they've been around for this long. They guide you with every question you needed answer to. And consumers really appreciate a great customer service. I told them my concern and was nice enough to send me a sample of their drying mask. This will bring us to the next part of this double review...

Update: I used this alone when I felt something was about to come on and it worked! It stopped the cystic acne in its track. So this works well with that but a bit useless for full blown cystic acne breakouts.

Price: Php 1,145 2oz. jar
Place to buy: Rustan's essences or
"Help clear acne eruptions. This Colloidal Sulfur based mask dries existing pimples and oil and helps clarify problematic, acne prone skin. Soothing Calamine makes this mask safe and gentle for most skin types. Great for back and chest acne eruptions as well. Best when used as a companion product to our Healing & Soothing Mask and Buffering Lotion."
INGREDIENTS: Deionized Water (Aqua), Kaolin,Wheat (Triticum Vulgare) Starch,Calamine,Ichthammol,Propylene Glycol, Colloidal SulfurTitanium Dioxide 

Mario Badescu products encased in jars are properly sealed to keep it fresh. :D

Now, before you go out and think of trying this out, I'm gonna warn you of the smell. Since one of the major ingredients of this mask is Sulfur, this smells like newly-bought kicks or burnt rubber. The smell is strong alright. I even got a headache on my first use but it wasn't  mind-numbing pain and did go after a few minutes so it was okay. This sure smells like hell but boy, it works! I applied it on the cystic acne after I put on a layer of the buffering lotion and leave it 20 minutes. After I wash it off I apply the buffing lotion again just as instructed. It dried out the acne flat in just 2 days. 

Texture is just like a regular Kaolin-based face mask and dries quickly. I also used this alone as a mask on my nose. Left it for 20 minutes and washed it off. The pores on my nose decreased greatly in size. So if you're the type who couldn't be bothered by holding your breath a couple of minutes, this is worth the try. Feels nice to have this on hand just in case an ugly breakout strikes back. This time I'm armed and ready! Recommended for oily skin as it can make dry skin worse (hence the name drying mask) :D

Have you tried any of these products? How did it work for you? I'd definitely like to know! :D

Till then,

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Birthday Buffet at Vikings Mall of Asia

Buffets, where do I start? If you are a small eater, buffets may not be a smart choice for you money-wise. But if you are one of them who have stomachs like a cow with an insatiable passion for food, then this is heaven.

I remember the first time I ate at Yakimix, I was a happy kid going out of that restaurant. The smokeless grill was a new experience back then. You could go ballistic grilling practically anything you could get your hands on on that thing! ( might be smart to limit that to anything edible though, or you might get strange looks from nearby tables, worse be kicked out). :D

Lately, buffets had been our favorite pick to celebrate birthdays. Last November 28 was my sister's birthday. She decided to celebrate her special day at Vikings. It was also perfect because Vikings' celebrating their anniversary and with that, anyone who dine in on the day of their birthday with at least 2 more paying adult dine in for free. So off we went.
Online reservation wasn't available. We were advised to just drop by and wait to be seated. We agreed to meet up at 7:00 PM. My sister got there first and had us on the waiting list. There were several comfortable couches outside and there is free wi-fi around the Mall of Asia so waiting wasn't much of a bother. I think we were seated after 45 minutes.
while waiting to be seated...
Vikings is a bit more expensive that Yakimix. But at Vikings, drinks are already included. You could take a pick from various juices, colas, even hot tea and coffee! Choices too are greater. They have the Fried station, Chinese station, Carving Station, Grilled station, Salad station,Dessert Station, and so much more!
started the feast with a serving of hot clam chowder (very tasty) and...

a couple of things off of the Salad station and appetizers. Egg and cauliflower salad, walnut bread,
blinis and caviar, a rich pile of a salad with orange-sesame dressing.
Then, of course, the very sinful fried station. Calamares (my favorite!),  shrimp tempura, tuna tempura,
breaded chicken fillet and 2 slices of Vikings' special pizza (one slice is already obliterated! Sooo...good!).
And then some...dimsum! Taro bun, Hakaw, scallop dumplings, pork siomai, and sharksfin siomai.
Hakaw and scallop Dumplings were my favorite!

Grilled Station: Tuna and Squid. The squid was a bit overcooked :(

Bleh! I just had to try the lamb. It was not a great idea. Downing this was like competing in Fear Factor!
To the left was the lamb and to your right is beef. That's still mooing by the way. Eeeeewwww.... didn't finish this plate. Just didn't have the heart  for it.

That meat almost ruined the whole experience for me. Thank goodness there was still dessert. By this time we were full. We skipped the native delicacies such as the kakanin(rice cakes) and halo-halo. But the red velvet cake was a winner. You shouldn't pass that up when you have the chance. The ice cream was pure bliss. We chose a scoop of both the Dark Chocolate ice cream and the Avocado ice cream (which tasted like the real fruit itself!).  

By the end of the night we were all extremely full. Something I've never encountered at Yakimix. Heck, I didn't want to look at food for a while after that! :D But it was all good. A very happy birthday experience for my sister.

A little playful tug at the Viking's braids to cap off the evening ;D

Contact Information
VIKINGS - A Feast From The Sea
Bldg. B, By The Bay, Seaside Boulevard, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City, Philippine

Telephone Numbers:
846-3888, 846-4888, 846-5888
0917-5653888 & 0923-7303888


You can check out their rates here:

Till next!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

First attempt at a Pre-order

Hi y'all! Just wanted to share what I got on my first ever pre-order attempt. Now, my first international purchase left me traumatized as the goods never reached me (blame it on the corrupt Philippine Postal System). I'm guessing somebody from the post office thought that all packages that come in there is free for all. Sad fact but true. Anyways, since then, I'm always on the fence on buying items abroad specifically in the US by myself. So I looked for other ways I could without all the heartbreak. Then I decided to give pre-order a try. There are a couple of small businesses on multiply who offers this service. So I began researching and asked for quotations. Out of all the ones I asked, Fab Finds was the one who gave me the lowest quotes.

Considering this is my first attempt, I was still scared. So I tested the waters first and started with just two items. Things I really wanted to try and is not available here in the Philippines.
Two items I got from Walmart: Phillips' Milk of Magnesia, which got great raves as a face mattifyer/primer and the Hard Candy Glamoflauge heavy duty concealer. The latter is being compared to or if not better than that of the Makeup Forever Full Cover concealer. Well, the hard candy one being way cheaper than MUFE (retails for US$6 at Walmart) is already a Pro for me. Plus, each Glamoflauge concealer comes with a free concealer pencil inside the box! Now that is quite the deal, though I'd have to test first if it does live up to all the hype.

I'll be road-testing these two and update you guys soon. :D

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Egghead is turning 2! (My Beauty Blender that is! :D)

It has been almost two years that I've been using this and I think it's about time she makes a debut on this blog. I hitched the Beauty Blender bandwagon years ago while browsing through HD Makeup Studio & Academy's multiply site. I was a firm believer back then that all sponges are created equal. No matter what shape or size, you get the same output each and every time. So when I saw this and how much it costs, I heard myself saying ridiculous! A sponge that costs that much? You have got to be kidding me! But then of course, I started researching about this "wonder sponge" to get acquainted on its wonder powers. 
"Airbrushed effect without an airbrush"
Introducing Beauty Blender, the ultimate make up sponge applicator. Invented by top Hollywood make up artists Rea Ann Silva and Veronica Lorenz.

Beauty Blender has been created without edges in order to eliminate visible lines and streaks to leave you with a professional finish and a flawless complexion. When you want an airbrushed finish without having to use an airbrush. 

Airbrush makeup was a budding trend back then and for those who want to achieve the same outcome without the price tag  of an airbrush machine, this was their best bet. It is used best with liquid makeup applied with a stippling/bouncing method for the airbrushed effect. But you could also use it with cream and powder makeup, Wet or dry works just fine. 

The more I learned about it, the more I wanted it (darn it!). So after countless sleepless nights of contemplating between my needs and wants, my weakness caved in. I purchased one. Back then it wasn't available locally (now, you can find it at Rustan's with the cleanser) so you have to really order it online. The Beauty Blender was sold abroad with its own cleanser but to be practical, and to cut on ginormous shipping fees, HD Makeup Studio offered it without the cleanser. That is just fine as you could clean it with a gentle shampoo ( I prefer a gentle dishwashing liquid) and water. 

So after almost two years of stippling and bouncing, I present to you my egghead...
The once bright pink color has faded due to numerous washing. The pointed part as well as the bottom has evident foundie stains. That being one of its cons. The Beauty Blender has an expected life span of only 6 months as I've read online. I guess this proves that if you take care of it really well, it would last you a very long time. This one, except for the stains and fade out, still performs as it did the first time I got it. An issue though, with BB, is how would you store it in your makeup pouch without damaging the sponge? Putting it in a box would take up too much space. So, I got the inspiration from the BB itself and used this...

I saw my nieces playing with this during Easter last year and asked them if I could have the pink one that sort of resembles the Beauty Blender. 
I then tried to see if they would fit perfectly together and they did! From then on, I could take egghead with me anywhere with ease and not worry about it being bent out of shape and getting damaged. The picture below shows the Beauty Blender being a bit bigger than that of the Easter eggshell toy but that is because I just washed my BB when I took this photo. The Beauty Blender doubles in size when wet so I had to wait till it dries before I could put it inside its case. ;D
For fellow owners out there having the same dilemma, I just had to share this little discovery of mine in hopes of crossing out a con in your book.

If you're looking into trying out the Beauty Blender, it is available through HD Makeup Studio's multiply site at Php1,200 or you could go check out Rustan's if you want the cleanser too. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Big Condiments Battle: Mustard or Ketchup?

Ready? Fight!

We all have been asked this question at one point or another. We buy a hotdog from the hotdog stand whether it be on stick or with a bun (if you're really hungry), but the question remains the same - "Ketchup or Mustard?".  Some people would save themselves the trouble by saying "a little of both" or "do you have mayo?". I can already hear the person standing behind you say "Geez, did you hear the man say mayo? Ketchup or Mustard! which is which! choose already!". Hahaha... I know both of these condiments have their own set of fan base. But let us do a battle and let the facts do the the talking shall we? (maybe halfway through this post you'll know which camp I'm rooting for :D).

Let's start with Ketchup. The red tomato-based condiment. Known to be a good source of lycopene, an antioxidant which may help prevent some forms of cancer. But did you know that Ketchup originated in China? (yes, just as bikes, firecrackers, pasta, etc.) Back then, it was far from the Ketchup we are familiar with nowadays. It was made from pickled fish. Yes, more like "patis" or fish sauce. It was only in 1801, that an American named Sandy Addison, created the tomato ketchup. 

At present, ketchup could come in different blends. There you have the classic or original blend, the sweet blend that targets mainly the younger consumers, Organic, Low Sodium, No Salt, No sugar, made with Balsamic Vinegar, made from green tomatoes (yes, green ketchup! Imported from our alien friends from the neighboring planet of Uranus. ;D), etc.

Oh, you think that's weird? Try Blue, Purple, and even a multi-colored one! Ketchup Giant Heinz was behind this crazy idea hoping to capture the kids' interest. It was then discontinued in 2006 due to poor sales (lesson: Never play with your food. Let us leave these kind of things to Crayola. It is much more up their alley.)

Enough of the crazy talk. Let us now move on to our other contender - Mustard.

First mustard preparation as a condiment could be traced back to the the Romans where they mix together unfermented grape juice and ground mustard seeds. The first mustard recipe was indicated in an old Roman cookbook dating as far back as the late 4th or early 5th century! It was a mixture of ground mustard, peppercarawaylovage, grilled coriander seeds, dillcelerythymeoreganoonion,honeyvinegarfish stock, and oil. First intended to be used as a glaze for a roasted boar.

By the 10th century, due to exportation, mustard preparation reached Paris where they began their own production. Later on Dijon, France became a well-known centre for mustard production.

Mustard serves a base for many sauces. Can be used for marinades and salad dressings. It could also be added to Hollandaise sauce to prevent it from curdling. Use of mustard on hotdogs, however, was first seen in 1904 in a St. Louis World's fair in (none other than) America. The bright yellow French's mustard was seen.

There's a vast list of the different kinds of mustard. Starting with your basic mustard (the most commonly used) consisting of the spicy brown/deli-style mustard, Dijon mustard, stone-ground mustard, whole-grain mustard, and yellow mustard. And just like Ketchup, there's also the sweet variety which consists of the honey mustard, spiced honey mustard, brown sugar and pecan mustard, prickly pear honey mustard, maple mustard, sesame ginger mustard, and sweet and hot mustard just to name a few. But it doesn't stop there. You also have the Fruit mustard, Herb mustard, Hot mustard, Old world mustard, and Spirited mustard wherein they add alcoholic spirits or beer for an added flavor.

Each country also has their own mustard preparation. There's the Australian mustard and the Russian mustard the latter being stronger and more acidic. You could also find mustard made with balsamic vinegar, black olive, sun-dried tomato and Maui Onion.

If Ketchup is lycopene rich, Mustard is a good source for selenium a nutrient which has been shown to help reduce the severity of asthma, decrease some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and help prevent cancer. It could also be very helpful for digestion, and can help to speed up your metabolism.

There you have it folks, the battle of two major condiments. Which side do you play for? I guess based on these facts, you already know which team I play for right?

Credits: All photos used were taken from the internet.

Mario Badescu: The first encounter (Glycolic Foaming Cleanser)

I got interested in this brand after I read Liz's blog post (Project Vanity) about an MB haul. It was also her first time to try anything from the brand. The brand name sounded familiar but I could not remember specifically where I heard it before. When I learned it was being sold at Rustan's, my initial expectation was expensive. Though reading on through her post, I was surprised at how reasonably-priced their products are. I was curious.

Around that time, I had been breaking out badly. I tried the Benzoyl Peroxide regimen and it worked well in controlling them at first. But as I progressed, the dry skin build up brought about by the BP began clogging my pores resulting to cystic acne. Hurts even more! The regimen recommended using AHA to slough off the dead skin cells but I have no idea where I could purchase one. The BP regimen was so limiting. Dedication is the key. This brought me to research more about Glycolic acid. I searched high and low for a local moisturizer with glycolic acid. 10% to be exact. But no luck. Then, I went to Mario Badescu's website to see if they offer such a product. I stumbled upon the Glycolic Foaming Cleanser. 
Retails for Php945 (approx. US$21)

Really wanted to get the Glycolic gel but it was too pricey for a first time purchase. So I went and got the cleanser instead. Of course, the curious cat that I am could not wait to get home to try this stuff. I was excited. I did have two cystic acne already present on both sides of my face near the ears ( parts where I usually breakout). After using this, I was amazed. The other cystic acne near my right ear was flat. This might seem too good to be true but I'm not exaggerating. My skin was smoother as opposed to the rough texture I had before. I could not put a finger on it but I could not help but stare at my skin on the mirror (flabbergasted!). Then, an MB baby was born. Hahaha... I was hooked!

Most people don't like Mario Badescu's packaging because it's so simple. But I like that they focus more on quality of the product. The foldable spout on the bottle is actually nice. Reminds me of the Coleman water jug that was a big hit when I was in grade school. :D It's more convenient than having to constantly screw and unscrew a bottle cap.

The glycolic foaming cleanser smells familiar to me too. I've smelled it before when I was a kid and I remember it also being a facial cleanser or being something to be used on the face but I'm not getting a visual on the exact product. Frustrating! Anyhoo, the cleanser lathers really well and you only need as small as a pea size drop to cover the entire face. I just love how clean my face feels after using this but not tight and dry. I have been using this for less than a month now, alternating with a gentle cleanser and so far so good. I love this cleanser! The bottle is 177ml so rest assured this will last me a very long time.

You could find Mario Badescu at Rustan's Essences (the entrance near Glorietta 4 across the MAC counter) you would not miss it as it is easily visible from the entrance. One thing though, when I went to Rustan's (Makati) I asked if they have samples of some of the items I want to road test first like the eye creams and stuff, they weren't able to provide me some. Bummer! None was the answer each and every time. That was annoying to tell you the truth. I don't want to invest on something that I would find out later would not work for me or worse will break me out. That's why a sample is a deal breaker or maker for me. So if you are a company and you're reading this, DON'T SKIMP ON SAMPLES. We are not all billionaires. We want to know if we are investing our hard-earned money on the right products that actually works for us. :D

So what Mario Badescu product has worked for you and you could not absolutely live without?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Chocolate Fire Virgin

Yes. Yes. Yes. Guilty as charged. I've been a Chocolate Fire virgin until that faithful night of November 5th 2011. We just egressed from the Global Pinoy Bazaar. It was late and we were hungry. My sister had visited CF a couple of times before so she's aware it is still open at that time. She took pity on her ignorant little sister so she decided to take me there.

Was not able to take photos of the facade and the downstairs dining area where I think one of Willie Wonka's oompa loompas reside. The counter close to the cashier were filled with different chocolate concoctions. I had to take a mental note to close my mouth or I might start to drool. When we went up to the register to order, it was a choice between dessert or savory. Since I haven't had dinner yet I went for a pasta dish and strawberry milkshake to wash it down. The place was so cozy you'd think it's already close from the outside. We went upstairs to look for a table which is easy as there weren't much people at that time.
See that painting of a woman on the bathroom door? I was told that was painted by Solenn Heussaff.
It was late. Please excuse my sister for taking a bit of a snooze while waiting for our food to arrive.
CF Hot Chocolate

Strawberry Milkshake

Pesto Roma


The food was okay. Considering the price of each dish, I expected a more pleasing plating. Take that Schublig for example, just that: a sausage, mustard, and rice on a plate. Nothing special. The Schublig, I could've bought in a delicatessen in a pack. The Pasta was just okay either. No meat and this was priced above P200 already! should have had a bit more somethin' somethin'. The milkshake was sinful. Haven't had milkshake in a while so this was a real treat! The hot chocolate was delicious. Not too sweet. I guess savory dishes isn't CF's strong point. The chocolate is the star of the show. So if you are in the mood for a sweet fix, this is the place for you. I'm sure there is something in that bountiful array of chocolate display that will surely satiate your sweet tooth.

So if you're a CF Virgin like me (correction: were), pay them a visit at:

Chocolate Fire
PDCP Building, Leviste cr Rufino Sts, Salcedo Village, Makati City
(near Makati Sports Club)
Contact No.: (02) 840 FIRE (3473)

Concealers: Makeup Forever Full Cover Concealer

This post is the first part of a concealer series I plan to do. Lately, because of the hot weather here in the Philippines, the last thing on my mind is makeup. Foundation, to be exact. I longed for the perfect spot-concealing concealer that won't budge from my oily face so I could go through my day wearing just that on several blemishes and no full on face makeup. Finding just that can be frustrating for oily-skinned people like me. Now, I've never tried anything from Makeup Forever before. Quality was not the issue here but the price tag. MUFE products are so darn expensive. But I guess, thinking about it, since the brand boasts of their waterproof cosmetics, if you don't have to constantly retouch your makeup, you'll only be using a little at a time. So in this case, don't let the little tube fool you. Since this product is so opaque, you literally would just need a pin size of product for every blemish you need to cover. This will last you forever to finish!
I like that it claims to be non-comedogenic as I'm prone to skin congestion. I did commit one major mistake when I got this: wrong color! (oh, and I got Jedi mind-tricked by the SA thinking it is the exact match). She suggested Golden Beige (#10) when what I really wanted to try out was Beige (#8). It is actually a great match if you were to use it as a foundation. But my intention was to spot conceal so this ended up drying two shades darker than my skin tone making the blemish more evident. Boo! Major fail.     
Oh well, the staying power is good especially if set properly with finishing powder. BUT it is not totally budge-proof. If you rubbed on it a bit, it will rub off. Lived up to its waterproof claim as I did test it out by dunking my swatched hand in water and trying to simulate a swimming motion. Don't know yet how it would hold up to saltwater. Guess we'd have to wait till I go to the beach again (clue: not any time soon). Dries to a matte finish but a little tacky/sticky to the touch. The packaging is hygienic. The opening on the tube's mouth is big enough to dispense a controlled amount of product.
When putting this on, I suggest you do it layer by layer letting the first one dry first. Be careful not to put too much as it will cake up. A little goes a long way. Dries quickly as well so you'd have to be precise and quick when using this.

If you're thinking of getting this, I couldn't emphasize more on getting the RIGHT color match. Don't be afraid to try out several shades first and wait a couple of hours because once dry, this will definitely go two shades darker. Check it out under natural lighting as store lighting could be deceiving. 
see the difference? Turned a bit orange when it dried.

Done right and you would have a great investment in your hands. Makeup Forever Full Cover Concealer 15ml. (0.5fl.oz.) retails for P1,650 (approximately US$37). Not cheap, so choose carefully. :D