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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

Quickie Question #1

I have always loved bags (but not as much as I love shoes, which deserves a post all of its own), and the quest to find the “perfect” bag is one that no woman I believe has ever attained yet in her lifetime.  I’ve had hundreds of bags come and go, in and out of my closet.  Most of my bags are “sinful and guilty indulgences” but I prefer to call them my “rewards for hard work” :P.  The rest of my bags have no real “value” given that most women I know see their bags as actual “investments” than the accessories they really were meant to be.  These are the fun, colorful, quirky bags I found on some online store or at a local bazaar and the moment called for me to get them, just because.

Today I am in another hormonal mood (aka. days where I think of nothing but shopping — in this case bags — even when I should be working) and my mind has wandered off to thoughts of Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga.  These thoughts were triggered by online friends who have been chiding me to make very unnecessary and expensive decisions (which may not necessarily be expensive if I had the money, haha) such as buying two gorgeous bags — the Louis Vuitton Damier Ebene Trevi PM

Louis Vuitton Damier Ebene Trevi PM (photo courtesy of Louis Vuitton website)

Louis Vuitton Damier Ebene Trevi PM (photo courtesy of Louis Vuitton website)

and the Balenciaga Velo Anthracite.

Balenciaga Velo Anthracite (Photo courtesy of Balenciaga website)

Balenciaga Velo Anthracite (Photo courtesy of Balenciaga website)

Balenciaga Velo Anthracite (Photo courtesy of Balenciaga website)

I have always been an LV fan because I think their designs will always be classic and their bag styles I believe are so easy to pair up with almost any kind of outift, whether casual or semi-formal.  On the other hand, the unique design, the edgy look and the funky colors of Balenciaga bags have always intrigued me.  I have owned quite a few Louis Vuitton bags in the past, opting for the “safe” Monogram Canvas design over the Damiers.  I have yet to discover what it is like to be a Balenciaga owner if and when I decide to deviate from my usual bag preference.

So here comes the quickie question for the day:

Let me know what you think!

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! 😀

Decluttering: Day 1

Jellybean

Bubblewrap’s Jellybean Bag Organizer (Orange Tiger Print)

My bag can be as cluttered as the many thoughts flying around my head.  I tend to carry a lot of stuff like my cellphone, wallet, checkbook, hand sanitizer, wipes, 3 kinds of keys, and tons of useless stuff such as receipts, cards, notes, and candy wrappers from the kids (which I totally forget to dispose off when there’s a nearby trash can). What happens is I end up stuffing them in every available pocket the bag has. And whatever is too big is what settles in the main part of the bag, just tumbling around while I carry it around doing my thing.  And so when time comes that I need to fish out my car keys, I end up standing in front of my car and emptying out the contents on my hood to try to find it in the sea of confusion (this is VERY unsafe and I do not recommend you ever do this even with a companion!).  To add to this nightmare, can you imagine needing to transfer all of these into a different bag? It would be like dumping trash from one bin to another!

Thank goodness I have my BUBBLEWRAP JELLYBEAN BAG ORGANIZER to solve this perennial bag disaster!

Jellybean bag

The Jellybean Bag Organizer’s handles are sturdy and easy to use to pull out off my bag!

This super cute and functional bag organizer has pockets of all sizes both inside and out, so it fits all my pens, receipts and small pieces of paper in the inside pockets alone.  The open space in the middle is big enough to fit my toiletries and my phone charger.  I carry a humongous wallet so I don’t intend to put it inside but for those who carry a purse or a small-sized wallet, it would fit perfectly inside that space as well.  The outside pockets carry my cellphone and my calling cards so that they’re readily accessible and easy to find.  Oh and did I tell you about my 3 kinds of keys? I don’t need to turn my bag inside out anymore because the bag organizer comes with a keyholder which you can hang outside of the bag organizer for easy access or tuck into the bag organizer as well.  What makes all this a breeze? The sturdy metal handles attached makes it easy to pull the bag organizer out of my bag and transfer into another bag, junk and all!  Now I don’t need to worry about leaving stuff behind in my previous bag because everything’s in my JELLYBEAN!

Check out the variety of designs to choose from!

The BUBBLEWRAP JELLYBEAN BAG ORGANIZER comes in a variety of prints and color combination that best suit your bag personality.  Like what you see? Check out the JELLYBEAN BAG ORGANIZER at BUBBLEWRAP ONLINE STORE!

Now if I can only find an organizer for my thoughts…

Want to order one?

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