my top 10 discoveries of 2010

I am more surprised that only about 30% is makeup-related. this are more of the products i have discovered just this year and ive loved so much that i cannot imagine how i've lasted for so long without it. for sure imma be using these thru 2011 and more years to come i hope. you mught be wondering why most of them are in sample/travel sizes, if i love 'em so much. rest assured that i have the full sized versions in my place in Manila, but as I am here in my Grandmother's house for the holidays, i have just brought/bought the travel bottles.

the numbers do not signify a particular order. imma just go along as i click through the next picture. 

1. L'Oreal Nutri-Gloss light Shampoo and conditioner + L'Oreal Elseve Nutri-Gloss Conditioning Spray
Before i had my Toni and Jackey's Haircut, my hair was just a long mess. it was almost a mermaid-lile length and it wasn't healthy anymore, not to mention it was extremely heavy and unmanageable, but i was always hesitant to cut it because if i give it a proper comb-thru it was still straight and shiny. then i got depressed and had a huge bulk of it cut. after i had the cut, i was at my local Mercury Drugstore when i saw them on stock and i've always wanted to try it so i grabbed a bottle of the shampoo and conditioner and gave it a try. i was so astonished by the results. it delivered on its promised goodness, and i just never had hair that good looking without so much effort or chemicals. seriously. i can even just let it dry without combing it, and just comb thru it with my fingers, and it never tangled! that's how soft my hair became. my only problem with this it that it's difficult as hell to find the conditioning spray nowadays. luckily tho, my local watsons still carries it so i'm good. this product is love love love!

2. Johnson's Naturaly White Daily Moisturizing Wash
I discovered this product when i ran out of my usual body wash and had to buy one. i just grabbed the first body wash i saw in the shelves and boy, was i glad i grabbed this little gem?! i dunno about the whitening properties, and honestly i dont really care cuz am not into whitening. it annoys me endlessly that most products here have whitening properties, or is marketed as one. but i like this particular body wash because it has fine granules that doubles as a milder-than-mild scrub, plus it smells so clean and fresh. that's gotta have top marks in my book! :D

3. Rexona Skin Light with Sunflower Oil.
For the longest time i have been a nivea deo user or a dove deo user, i kept on using their under-arm whitening variant as i am obsessed with a whiter under arm. i think using Secret from way back ruined my under arms for good, plus i am a big girl and as my derma told me before, pigmentation in some areas such as the under-arm, neck, and inner thigh is natural unless i lose the weight. i lost some of the weight before but not the pigmentation in my under-arm. since my adolescent years, i have been beyond obsessed with making my under-arms lighter and i've been using the nivea ones or the dove ones, the one with the pearl whitening properties and the extra whitening properties to no avail. i remember reading about this from one of the beauty blogs i subscribe to but i was still a bit skeptic. then i had to go climb a mountain and i was broke but i needed toiletries. so i grabbed the small version and the travel one pictured above. i placed the mini version in my toiletries bag and this one in my hand bag, just in case i perspire too much and need a quick fix. i was ever so surprised that i didnt need to re-apply it despite sweating like a pig, so to speak. i figured that if it is good enough for mountain climbing, then it is good enough for daily use. i have been using it ever since and even bought the spray bottle and i have been pleasantly surprised that my under-arms have become noticeably lighter. good job rexona! :D

4. Clinelle 3 step kit
i have been either a belomed product user (the one prescribed in the clinics), or a neutrogena or a celeteque user. i might deviate once in a while but i always go back to these three brands. i think they have proven their worth enough. but ever since i tried the clinelle one, i loooved it! and it has no adverse effect on my skin so it's all good! :D one thing that surprised me is despite the mild formula of the cleansing gel, my face felt really clean, plus this is the first time i've actually enjoyed using a toner, i dunno why. plus the moisturizer really gives off a subtle glow but i cannot pinpoint why. i need to get me the full sized versions once im back in manila to give it a proper trial. 

5. Garnier Light Complete Multi-Action Whitening Cream

I dunno what it does exactly, but i love this product. i dont use it everyday, but everytime i feel like my face is looking blah and dull and all that bad stuff (we all have those days right?) and i dont feel like going through the hassle of putting on make up, i just apply this for a quick pick-me-up and instantly i feel like i look a lot better!  it might be psychological in nature or whatever but i really like this product. it makes me feel as if the skin on my face is a little tighter and a lot, lot, lot less shiny. in fact i feel like my face is non-greasy yet glowy, if you know what i mean. i cannot really explain it, as i suspect it is a bit psychological but i love this product nonetheless. i always keep a small tube in my purse.

6.Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay + Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
oh, i love this combo! ive been using it on and off for about 6 months now, at first once or twice a week but lately just about twice a month as it really purged my face. i no longer am that prone to pimples and it really sucks out my blackheads and white heads. i just love using this. i especially love the squeaky-clean feeling i get just after i use this. i have to buy my second jar soon as i am running out fast! i think my stock's only good enough for about 2 -3 sessions, tops! lol

(photo stolen off of google. i cannot figure out how to take a decent photo of this product and it drives me crazy!)
i loved this perfume so much i blogged about it here. 2 days after that post my bottle shattered to pieces. my room smelt of eternity for weeks on end and i felt so wretched. it was a new perfume! i loved it so much. good thing i had a spare bottle and i'm saving up for another spare bottle as i dont ever wanna run out of this product.

8. James Cooper Travel Brush Set + Fanny Serrano Eyelash Curler

okay, so i've long since discovered the fanny serrano eyelash curler. i've had mine as early as 2009, i think. but last April, i acquired the famed Shu Eumura one and i've found a renewed love for my Fanny Serrano one a i felt like the distinction is very minimal. plus ive been so afraid of losing my shu one that ive taken to carrying the fanny serrano one with me instead and just use the Shu one at home. lol.

i've recently just acquired the James Cooper Brush set, but it never left my bag ever since! i've been jetting off to one party after another this holiday season and i've taken to putting makeup inside the car. unless of course i airbrush myself first before leaving. but basically, while i drive, i put on make up. with the infernal traffic around the metro, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do right? i'm just so impressed wit this set as the bristles are all of good quality, and the collection of brushes have been well thought of, like you can do a really professional face makeup with it. i love that aside from the traditional paddle eye brush that usually comes in sets like this, James Cooper has thoughtfully included a crease brush and he didnt bother adding the usual "pampa-dami" or space-filler such as the useless sponge brush and the like. all 7 brushes are useful and handy. imma do a decent review SOON! :D

i've been so in love with this product that i cannot stop raving about it here. i'm happy to report that the love affair is far from being over, in fact i've bought myself a back up just so i wouldn't run out. i have to stress tho that this product works amazing if coupled with the Marionnaud Fluid Foundation brush i've mentioned here. i forgot to take a pic tho.. :/

10. Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream
i've talked a bit about this product here. am not sure tho if imma do a decent separate review as i am not particular with brands as long as it is a bb cream. i was a bit late with the bb cream craze and i didnt have the time nor inclination to chase the expensive ones all over the internet. as far as bb creams i like them all. i never met a bb cream that i didnt like. but then again all of my bb creams are from etude house. what i like about them is that they are thicker than your average tinted moisturizer yet less heavy than a full-on foundation without sacrificing the coverage. loveet! :D i also love that this particular one is conveniently packaged, and i never had a problem with it not squirting product or anything like that as some of the common rants have been.

so there you have it, my top 10 discoveries of 2010. si wanted to post a best and worst products of 2010 as well but then again i feel like i would not be able to do much justice on it as i am blessed with a face that does not react much to whatever product is applied to it. so it wouldnt be as accurate as those with sensitive skin would have wanted. 

how about you guys, what are your best discoveries this past year? 

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Last Loot for 2010

this is the last (hopefully) makeup haul for the year. it is also an impulsive one. i was just at my local watsons here in the province (not even inside an actual mall, just a stand alone Watsons near the plaza) and i got the following:

1. James Cooper 7-piece Travel Brush Set - i love this brush set! it seems like James Cooper really placed a lot of thought into this one. you can actually do a full face with this set and make it look professionally done!
- large brush: for setting liquid foundation. i actually just apply my liquid foundation in the car with my fingers and use this brush to set my foundation with my pressed powder.
- blush brush
- eyeshadow paddle brush
- crease brush
- slanted eyeliner brush
- concealer brush: which i've miststaken for a lip brush at first, lol
- spoolie: extremely useful
it sucks tho that it doesnt come with a lip brush but i dont mind at all, i can easily get the ever bilena retractable one, with cap, for less than 50 bucks, i think. i also love that the brushroll comes with a pocket. i've stored my Fanny Serrano Eyelash curler in it, along with my cookiie-shaped mirror. in a pinch, i can even easily stick a wedge sponge in it. :D
2. Nichido eyebrow powder - prolly the best eyebrow kit i ever bought, second only to the highly expensive ModelCo one.
3. 13 shades of the Niichido Girls Night Out Liners - i've read somewhere that it is even better than the urban decay 24/7 liners. can't confirm tho cuz i dont own a single one of the 24/7 liners but it got me intrigued. i think i already have at least 4 shades, but since i'm buying the complete set, i might as well pick up the rest right? for 80 bucks a pop. it aint so bad. i love that all of these are waterline safe as well, so it's all good. will post swatches after the new year, and that's a promise! :D
- *Bronze Glow
- 24K
- *Green Smokes
- Nice Gal
- *Pink Diamond
- *Thin Mints
- Blackest Black
- Deep Bloinde
- Cool Blue
- Metal Blue
- Vivid Turqiose
- Deep Plum
- Thin Mints
(* - the ones i already have from before)

there you have it, my impulse haul. i actually cheated a bit for including the james cooper brush set as ive bought it several days earlier, but IAG!

how was your christmases? i hope it was a lot better than mine. :D don't get me wrong, i spent it with my family and it was all good, but i am bloody missing somebody. i can't wait for May, when i get to see the brit again.. too long i know. thank god for skype and fb. lol. :P

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How I Survived the Boondocks (Bundok)

first things first:
pl.n. Slang

  1. Wild and dense brush; jungle.
  2. Rural country; the backwoods.
[From Tagalog bundok, mountain.]

Read more:

I've always known that "boondocks" was from our very own tagalog word, "bundok" but just so everyone knows now. i think it was an over-zealous english teacher who taught me this little piece of trivia way back in gradeschool. lol

okay, so as you all know, i went "travolunteering" (i think it was actually Lois of who coined the word) in bohol,. and just like any self-respecting beauty blogger, i packed half a ton of beauty arsenal with me, even knowing i would barely use it in the mountains. while there tho, i wasnt able to use even 10% of what i brought because i don't wanna be that girl who wore a full face of cosmetics in the mountains. then again i wasnt that brave to show my bare face. my fellow volunteers were absolute dyosas in their bare faces that it'll leave even the hottest celebs with an insecurity complex. seriously! so what's a girl to do? fake it, of course!

i needed something that i can apply in less than a minute tho cuz travolunteering is one hectic job. you're up at 4-5am if you wanna get a decent shower because you have to share the one common shower room with 30 other ladies, not to mention fetching the water and carrying it yourself. not to put you off of volunteering or anything! lol.

needless to say, i wasnt able to use the pound and pound of cosmetics i packed and brought. so if you'll ever climb up a mountain for any reason, these are the only things you need. (trust me, i learned the hard way.)

1. Avon Lip and Cheek Tint - gives you the right amount of tint. i think i've already made a review of this before. i dunno if it's just me, but i couldnt tell the difference with the other variant from the same brand. while in the boondocks, it gave me a touch of color while still looking natural. and it lasts about half a day, which is okay. :D

2. Lip Balm - alba's unpetroleum jelly - prevented my lips from chapping and drying up while the SPF 18 gave me an added protection. it also left my lips soft and supple for kissing. (i only kissed babies in bohol tho, in case you, uhh, wondered. lol)

3. Etude House BB Cream - i don't care which variant or which brand, i just needed something with SPF, thicker than a tinted moisturizer, and less heavy than a full foundation. this seemed to answer all the requirements. i love that it is thick enough to hide my blemishes and conceal my under-eye circles, even a bit, and it evened out my discoloration. it lasts longer than your average tinted moisturizer too so win-win.

i also love the fact that all of these can be applied directly and using just my fingers for the added speed, and can be applied in less than 2 minutes, i think! lol.

(okay, imma be honest, i've no idea who took this photo but i found this in Mon G's album so i guess twas taken from his camera. lol. i know you could barely see my face but this is the only one i can find. peace! :D if it's any consolation tho, i can say that my face is not that even when bare!)

the number one non-vain and important thing tho was to slather yourself with SPF. i had the belo face sunblock with me with SPF 40 (only because i didnt have time to drop by the belo clinic and get a gel sunblock) and the beach hutt clear sunblock spray with 75++ SPF. thio i barely needed it because i was in the shade most of the time and it wasnt all that sunny when we went.

another tip: unless you wanna be eaten alive by all sorts of insects, ditch the perfume. i had my para'kito mosquito repellant with me but halfway thru the journey i lost it. good thing Ms. Nette C. and Daddy Jack gave me some of their anti-mosquito patches and mosquito repellants. :D

i hope you guys survive the boondocks too if you ever decide on climbing one. :D and if you already did, what make up did you wear? or are you like my fellow dyosa volunteers who were confident enough with their bare faces? do tell! :D

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