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Outfit of the Day Post: Black is black

I don’t particularly like wearing a black ensemble at 9 o’clock in the morning unless I was attending a funeral. But for this Sunday morning’s event, my charismatic community Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon, who was celebrating their 37th year anniversary, called for our group to be “Men (Women) In Black” for the various presentations prepared … Continue reading

The Eshiko Experiment

I am not a make-up expert. I don’t know enough about make-up brands to recommend any to anyone, but I do know what works and doesn’t work for my skin type. I have been wearing make-up ever since I started working, as my job as a public relations account executive required me to be in the presence of well-dressed, beautifully made-up people from time to time. But this didn’t mean wearing make-up all the time meant I knew what I was doing or that I actually spent time learning how to use them. I was never much of a “kikay” girl in the area of hair and make-up as I was always really busy and I felt that fixing myself in front of the mirror took up too much of my time. I think I would spend a total of 15 minutes tops doing both my hair and make-up on any given day, and maybe about 30 minutes for a more dressier event (I think my hubby knows more about make-up than I do because he is more vain that me, haha!)

My normal make-up routine would have me applying tons of concealer (to hide my freckles and dark under eye circles), then covering all that up with a pressed powder (I’ve been using Maybeline a lot recently because I obviously do not know better), then proceed to line the top of my lids with an eyeliner (usually a retractable pencil since I hate sharpening them), dab a bit of blush (again, Maybeline), then end the whole process quickly with some kind of matte-finish lipstick (I’ve been using L’Occitane’s Tourbillion Cerise recently). For this post, I would like to zero in on the foundation, concealer and powder part of this process as I spend particularly more time doing this (all of 10 minutes, haha!).

As I mentioned earlier, I focus much of my make-up time dabbing concealer on all the problem areas of my face. I have very dark under-eye circles brought about by ruptured blood vessels — due to chronic allergic rhinitis made worse by my ungodly sleeping habits. Then I have dark, grayish freckles on the apples of my cheeks, due to thyroid medications that I’ve been taking for more than a decade. And to top it off, I have small patches of chicken pox and pimple scars that contribute further to the total unevenness of my skin. Lately I have become extremely unhappy with how my make-up turns out by mid-afternoon. I either end up with a cake-y, cracked face when I put both the concealer and powder on heavy-handedly, or I end up bare-faced with all traces of make-up gone particularly after a long (and probably sweaty) day. Thus began my journey to find the perfect product to put an end to my cover-up miseries!

First on my list: ESHIKO FACE POWDER.

My Eshiko purchase sent through courier

I first read about Eshiko in a local female forum while I was browsing through topics on make-up. I read that what made Eshiko a much sought-after face powder was that it wasn’t actually make-up, but rather a product made of transparent hydrated silica reduced to a size of 10 nanometer (as opposed to a normal face powder which has a size of 10,000 nanometers). The website describes 10 nanometers to be the size of smoke! Due to this, Eshiko supposedly glides easily when applied on the skin and promises to make the skin pores smaller which in turn creates a smooth and radiant effect almost instantaneously. Wow that sounds like magic! After reading quite a number of good reviews, I looked up several online stores that carried the brand. I could have ordered it directly from the Eshiko website since they offered free shipping anywhere in the world, but I found the sale price offer to still be expensive (US$29.50 sale price), and I was in a hurry to try it out! I found a Multiply store than offered it at 50% discount (CLICK HERE) for only P600! I immediately placed an order for it and received it the following day!

I also read somewhere that Eshiko worked best when used on top of a BB cream, especially for blotchy skins like mine. I wasn’t completely convinced by this statement because the Eshiko website gives the impression that the powder alone can already make your skin look flawless. Just the same as part of my experiment, I decided to use the powder on its own on my bare skin, and I also used it with my recently purchased Total Repair Age BB cream (on top of the Collagen Moistful moisturizer, both purchased from Etude House) to complete what become my “phase one make-up set”.

My moisturizer and BB cream set from Etude House

The website gave specific instructions on how to get the best out of using your Eshiko Face Powder:

“1. Wash your face with mild soap and water. Ensure that no peeling dead skin is present by gently rubbing your face with your fingers in circular manner. Use a facial scrub if necessary.

2. Tone your skin. Use a mild toner and gently rub it against your skin using a cotton ball or a cotton pad. Avoid excessive rubbing.

3. Wait around 5 minutes before putting on your moisturizer. Avoid moisturizers that contains fragrance. Use a mild, fragrance free moisturizer.

4. Using a kabuki brush, gently dab a small amount of ESHIKO™ and brush it all over your face in a circular motion.

5. Reapply ESHIKO™ as necessary. You need not remove oil and sweat from your face during retouching as ESHIKO™ works best in the presence of oil and sweat.”

10g Eshiko Face Powder and my trusty Bobbi Brown kabuki brush

Me with no makeup. Dark circles. Freckles. Blotchy face. UGH!

After more than two weeks of using Eshiko Face Powder together with my collagen moisturizer and my BB cream, here are a few of my feedback of the product:

THUMBS UP:

  • Eshiko is indeed very light and “airy”, so when applied onto the skin it doesn’t feel like you’re putting on make-up. I guess the use of a kabuki brush helps make the spread of the powder feel lighter on the skin as opposed to most pressed or loose powder where you actually feel them settle on your skin’s surface. In short, using Eshiko doesn’t make my face feel sweaty and grainy the way normal face powders do.
  • In an extremely hot and humid country such as ours, the hydrophilic qualities of Eshiko work best for our skin. This means that with sweat and oil, Eshiko is at its best because it melts into your skin, creates an illusion of having a matte-finish and gives off a certain kind of glow on the skin. When I tried using it without the BB cream, by midday my skin looked fresh — not cracked and dry — like I wasn’t wearing any make-up.

Before (my bare skin) and after (with Eshiko alone)

THUMBS DOWN:

  • Since my main issue was all about coverage, I felt that using the Eshiko face powder wasn’t enough to solve my problem just yet. I still needed my BB cream to cover my freckles and mildly create the illusion of flawlessness. This was a bit of a disappointment to me because I was hoping that the powder alone could make skin imperfections become non-existent as seen in the before and after pics posted on their website. The powder seemed to have photoshop-ped all their faces! 😛

1st pic: Face with light BB Cream applied; 2nd pic: Face with Eshiko on top of BB cream; 3rd pic: The full effect with eyeliner, blush and lipstick. See any improvement???

I was starting to rethink my repurchase of Eshiko as I haven’t really seen a major breakthrough in my search for the perfect “flawless skin” product. But a good friend who I haven’t seen in quite awhile recently complimented me on my “younger” looking skin and pointed out that my skin looked fresh and even glowing! I hadn’t told her about my Eshiko experiment, so I was hoping (and eventually was quite convinced after she mentioned it a few more times during our meetup) that it was Eshiko that gave that effect. That feedback indeed lifted my spirits! I guess if other people see something positive from the use of this product, then I guess that’s all that matters, since they are the ones who see my face more than I do!

Over-all I think Eshiko is a good face powder. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I would give it a 6.5 based on what I see, and maybe a 7 based on feedback from others. I believe it really works best on oily skin than on dry skin to be able to create that healthy glow effect that it promises. For some people it might actually be the only answer to their skin woes. But I wouldn’t describe it’s effects as AMAZING as other reviews have stated repeatedly. I still have to try out other similar products to actually make a comparison. For now I am sticking to my use of Eshiko, especially for my everyday outdoor wear, until I find another brand that I can experiment on.

And so the journey continues…

Decluttering Day 2: Every Bag’s BFF!

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In my fantasy world, i have a walk-in closet bigger than every room in the house.  My bags and shoes are all neatly displayed in glass cabinets and shelves, free from dust, moisture, and all kinds of pests that could potentially endanger the very existence of these leather babies which some people put more value on than their own children (the guilty may now leave this page! LOL).

Back to reality.  I do not have such a closet.  I have a walk-in “warehouse” where I guiltily throw my bags into after a long day, not really giving much thought to their plight after several days of doing so.  To all of you who take really good care of your bags (and I know quite a number of people who are extremely obsessive-compulsive with their bags), kudos to you!  I envy the innately organized woman who lives and breathes order and neatness in every aspect of her life.  She probably could organize a closet with her hands tied behind her back! But for the neat-challenged like me, external help is needed.

I began the arduous task of fixing my bag shelf.  Note: To the faint-hearted, you may not want to proceed with looking at this next photo (bag-lovers, please do not start sending me hate mails!).  This is what I had to face whenever I opened the door to my closet…

Bag shelf before

Before

Yes, I know, it’s an embarrassment.  It’s sacrilege to my bags! I don’t deserve to own any, I get it! And i realized that after I had to dig under several piles of bags to get out my mangled, dusty, “supposedly practically-new” Coach Studded East / West shoulder bag and stared at the horrifying state that it was in.  I needed help! And I needed it fast!

Thank goodness for my online shopping addiction pastime, I found my newest bag best friend!  MY SINFUL INDULGENCE carries clear, sturdy and classy storage boxes for bags which I believe is a Godsend to people like me.  They not only protect bags from dust and other harmful elements, they are amazing space-savers!  I initially bought 5 pcs to give them a test-drive and see how well they fit into my bag shelves.  My big bags fit perfectly (my Louis Vuitton Galliera PM inside its dust bag slid snugly into the box) while my small and medium-sized bags shared ample breathing space inside a single box without scratching their hardwares.  I managed to keep a total of 11 bags in these boxes, and I still had space left for my stuffed bags (filled with bag stuffers I purchased from LOVE MY BAGS years ago).  I was so impressed with how big a difference these boxes made to protect my bags and more importantly, save shelf space!  And now bag lovers, here is how my shelf looks today:

After

After!

Impressed? I am too!  I have a new batch of boxes arriving soon, and for the first time in my life, I am actually looking forward to fixing my closet!  I may not have the dream closet I’ve always wanted, but at least I no longer face the nightmare that I had a week ago!

Check out my new bag BFFs here and here!  Happy organizing! 😀