Becoming Sleek

Archive for February 2013

I’ve finally finished the BDJ Box 7-Day Challenge. I’ve been using the following products for six consecutive nights: Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Balancing Softener, Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Night Emulsion, and Shiseido White Lucent Spot Correcting Serum. You can read about the first half of the challenge here.

As a recap, here are the pictures from before the challenge and the first three days:

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Day 0

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Day 1

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Day 2

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Day 3

Here are the pictures from Day 4 to 6:

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Day 4

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Day 5

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Day 6

For Day 7, I used the Shiseido White Lucent Mask. According to the instructions I was just supposed to keep the mask on for 10 minutes. However, the mask felt so wonderful on my face. It was very cooling and I can feel my skin being instantly hydrated. I didn’t want the feeling to stop too soon, so I confess I kept the mask on for 30 minutes! Here’s how my face looked like right after the mask treatment:

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Day 7 – Right after mask

My face is still wet from the leftover essence from the mask, but you can see that my face is quite radiant and bright. When my face dried it looked like this:

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Day 7 – Dry

For a closer comparison let’s put Days 0, 3, 6, and 7 side by side:

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At first glance the overall tone of my face seem to have lightened and evened out. You’ll have to take my word for it, but the skin on my face feel generally softer and supple. Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that the dark circles around my eyes have visibly lessened and the pimple has all but disappeared. Some of the redness on my cheeks also has lessened a bit.

One thing I didn’t like about the products are the glass containers. While they make the line look very luxurious and high-class, it makes it difficult to dispense the right amount of product (especially the night emulsion) since you can’t squeeze the bottle.

My final conclusion: The Shiseido regimen truly works! I think I can now see why these products are all very expensive. The long and short of it is that it works with brightening up the face and it actually evens out the discolorations. I especially love the White Lucent mask, as it feels so good on the skin. At about Php533 per mask it’s worth having a relaxing time at home with this mask on.

I had a hard time finding the right opportunity to try out the last product in my latest SampleRoom haul. The Venus and Mars Mineral Eyeshadow in HALO is such a pigmented eyeshadow that is definitely not for everyday office use.

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HALO is a very bright emerald green shade with shimmers. The sample came in a small tub (same size tub as the V&M lip balm). A little goes a long way with this eyeshadow. The tub is a little unfortunate, though, because it’s easy to spill the product.

Here are the swatches on my arm:

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As I said, it’s really very shimmery. Since it’s mineral eyeshadow, it also is very prone to fallouts, so one must be very careful when applying it. I tried it on my eyes.

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I just used one swipe of the eyeshadow, and you can see how highly pigmented it is. You can also see some of the fallouts under my eye. I might purchase a full product (5g for Php145) if they have the correct shades I’m looking for.

Pros: very pigmented; a little goes a long way; paraben-free

Cons: prone to fall out; tub doesn’t contain product adequately

As you may have read in my unboxing of the February BDJ Box, I’ve decided to take on the BDJ Box 7-Day Challenge. How does it work? Basically I have to use the Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Night Emulsion and Balancing Softener and the Shiseido White Lucent Spot Correcting Serum for a straight 6 days, and the Shiseido White Lucent Mask on the 7th day. Sounds easy enough, and by doing this I can test out the entire set of skincare products in the BDJ Box. As an added benefit, I’ll get even and clear skin!

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It took me a while to discover the proper order of these products. Basically first I have to cleanse my face with my preferred cleanser. Then I put the Balancing Softener onto a cotton pad and use all over my face. After that, I squeeze a bit of the Spot Correcting Serum and again spread all over my face (supposedly it’s only for discolored parts of the face, but I decided to use it all over). Lastly, spread the Night Emulsion all over my face.

For reference, this is how my face looked like before I started the challenge:

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I will be taking pictures in the exact same spot (and approximately the same time) every day to see if I’m getting some progress. I’m actually done with my 3rd challenge day, and here are the pictures.

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Day 1

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Day 2

At this point I thought that the lighting was pretty bad, so I took another Day 2 picture in a brighter room.

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Day 2 Reprise

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Day 3

Here it is again, comparing the Day 0 and Day 3 pictures:

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Initial impressions: It could possibly be the lighting, but I do feel that the overall skin tone of my face has lightened a bit. I do not have a lot of blemishes to begin with, so I am just looking for a clear and healthy looking skin instead of dull and tired. Even at Day 3 it looks like the regimen is working. I can’t wait to see the progress at the end of Day 7!

glamboxfeb1It’s here! My first ever Glamourbox has arrived, and I am very happy to finally be able to try it out. Glamourbox is very popular, and of very limited release, and thus it’s very hard to get a subscription if you haven’t gotten one yet. I got lucky for the February subscription opening, and was able to grab myself one. A few weeks later, it finally arrived. It came with it’s own brown courier box, and inside is this wonderfully sturdy white box. It’s made of hard cardboard and looks very sleek. It’s also a lot bigger in size compared to the BDJ box.

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The lid is a little loose, so I have to be careful when picking it up from the table. I absolutely love containers, and this is one of the best boxes I’ve encountered yet. When you open the box, you’ll be greeted with this.

glamboxfeb3glamboxfeb4A fabric paper outer wrapping with the GB sticker opens up to a welcome card from the Glamourbox team. If I am not mistaken, this month’s theme is “Romantic Beauty”, and the products will reflect this theme. What’s under the card?

glamboxfeb5You can’t really see much from this. Most of the products are covered by the paper confetti, and all I can see at this point is a non-beauty product. Let’s remove the confetti and find out the surprises.

glamboxfeb6glamboxfeb7The first product is Kji&Co Emergency Lash RX, a lash serum that protects new lashes from cosmetic and environmental factors. I’ve never heard of lash serums, and before this I never thought my lashes needed protecting! The cap opens up to a narrow brush, and I have yet to discover how to apply this to my lashes. This is a very intriguing product! This looks to be full sized, and the welcome card says this is 2ml and is worth Php1350.

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Next we have Snoe Oil For All Argan Oil. I’ve heard a lot of good things about argan oil. Argan oil is supposed to have great anti-aging benefits to skin and hair. It’s a tiny bottle though so I’m hoping there’s enough of it there to fully test out the claims. The full size of 25ml costs Php799. I think this bottle is at most 5ml, which would put the worth at around Php160.

glamboxfeb11We next have three 1.5ml sachets of The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream. It’s a little sad that they just gave us sachets (there’s something a little distasteful about sachets, don’t you think?), but I’m hoping that three would be enough to test it out properly. There’s nothing mysterious about this product, it’s supposed to be a moisturizer. The full size of 50ml costs Php695 (which means this sampler set costs about Php63).

glamboxfeb8I also got a Carmex Lip Balm. This rendered me speechless for a few moments. A supermarket lip balm in Glamourbox? It seemed very out of character for a premium subscription box, especially considering their past boxes. I honestly felt a little sad receiving this. This is a full sized product 10g for Php109.75.

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Lastly we get a Calvin Klein Beauty fragrance, which I’ve already received from the November BDJ Box and reviewed here. I’m not really averse to getting another tube of this since I liked it, but maybe I would have preferred receiving another kind or brand of fragrance. The full size of 100ml costs Php5498, which means this 1.2ml sample costs about Php66.

glamboxfeb14But wait, what’s this? I get a bonus item (which I already saw at the beginning of the unboxing) and a couple of vouchers. It’s a card holder from Cuzo, and vouchers from Chi Dermatology Clinic and Wild Peach Cosmetics. Not bad for extras.

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And inside the Cuzo card holder is another voucher! This one is from Cuzo as well, and a pretty generous discount voucher at that.

My impressions of the Feb Glamourbox: I’m very happy to finally be able to try out the other beauty subscription box, and I am very impressed with the box itself. I have mixed feelings about the contents though. I’ve developed a high expectation for Glamourbox from the reviews of the previous months’ boxes, and this box seems a bit…lacking. On the other hand I did receive things that I haven’t tried before (lash serum and argan oil), which at least serves the original purpose of such beauty subscription boxes.

Value review: The contents of the box comes up to approximately Php1749 not including the card holder and voucher values. I paid Php595 for the subscription, so I did get my money back at least, and I get a handsome box too.

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I just have to mention this though. I am surprised by the amount of paper confetti in this box. I suppose this is due to the size of the actual box compared to the contents, and the confetti is needed to cushion the contents against rough handling during transit.

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Will I continue the subscription? I think so. Glamourbox is still a highly reviewed subscription, and I would like to believe that this is just an unfortunate timing in my sense because of the inclusion of Carmex and CK Beauty. Overall I’m still happy with it, and I will continue to feature Glamourbox as long as I can keep my subscription running.

This past weekend was a great one for me, for the much awaited February BDJ  Box has arrived. Their twitter account hyped it up pretty big by saying it’s going to be a “red hot surprise” and many people (including me!) were pumped! What arrived IS in fact, a RED, HOT, surprise! Check it out:

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An exclusive box! Wow! This is the first time that BDJBox released an exclusive box, and what a box! It’s packed full of Shiseido goodies, with a few nice extras. Upon opening up the box you’ll see the usual welcome card, with this month’s theme being “In Light and Love”. The focus is on making us the most radiant and blooming in the month of love, and the included Shiseido skincare products will target just that. We also have the five stickers that we come to expect, and this month they command you to “Light up!”

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Inside is a glittering array of Shiseido products. I don’t know what it is about this box, but I had the impression of silver sparkles when I opened this up.

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Let’s talk about each product. The first and biggest product is the Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Balancing Softener, which I take to be a kind of toner. It is housed in a small elegant glass bottle with a twist cap. It’s 25ml, which comes to about Php400 value (the full size, 150ml, costs Php2400). It’s meant to replenish moisture in the skin and helps protect from UVA and UVB damage. I tried it out the first night, and found that it’s a little hard to dispense as I can’t really squeeze a glass bottle.

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The next product is Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Night Emulsion, which looks like a moisturizer. It’s in a similar glass bottle, although it comes in a smaller size of 15ml – a value of Php650 (full size 75ml at Php3250). This product focuses on reducing wrinkles and help keep skin smooth. Again it’s a little hard to dispense due to the bottle being made of glass.

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We come to the next products, which is from Shiseido’s new line White Lucent, which targets spots and promotes a luminous glowing complexion. This is the main point of the theme, Light and Love. The first product is Shiseido White Lucent Intensive Spot Targeting Serum. It’s in a small narrow tube with a pointed tip, and as it’s a serum it’s meant to be applied before moisturizer. This serum targets all types of hyperpigmentation and their causes. It’s a 5ml sample worth Php942 (full size is 30ml, Php5650).

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The second product of this line is Shiseido White Lucent Intensive Brightening Mask. Nothing too strange about this product, I don’t think this is very much different from other face masks. This one aims to bring concentrated brightening and hydrating benefits to the skin in ten minutes. It contains only one mask, which has a value of Php533 (full size is 6 sheets for Php3200).

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The last Shiseido product I received is supposed to have been a lipstick according to the welcome card. Strangely enough, I instead got this pack of Shiseido Benefiance Pure Retinol Revitalizing Face Mask. It contains 20 rounds of dehydrated mask, but it didn’t come with the fluid. Once I open this up I’ll update this post for more details. I have no idea how much this is worth, as it is not included in the welcome card. [Update: Each mask is worth Php380. You’re supposed to use the Softener with the masks, just put enough on a dehydrated mask to unravel it and apply it on your face.]

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The only non-Shiseido product in this month’s box is a very welcome Nippon 5-Minute Touch-Up Kit. It includes lip brushes, lip gloss applicators, eyeliner brushes, mascara wand brushes, dual cotton tips, and wedge sponges. It’s meant to be included in your travel kit or kikay kit. This is one of my favorites in the box, as I don’t really have a complete arsenal of makeup brushes yet, and any enhancement to my collection is very welcome. This is worth Php150.

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As usual gift cards are included in the box. To round out the exclusive box, we get three Shiseido bonus gift cards: 1. Free Shiseido Makeover for a minimum Php2000 purchase; 2. Free Shiseido quick Facial for a minimum Php2000 purchase; and 3. 15% Discount for purchase of at least Php5000.

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My impressions of the Feb box: This is a premium box, and I’d count it as one of the best boxes released by BDJ. Shiseido is a great skincare brand, and it’s great of BDJ to feature them in their first exclusive box. I just found it a little weird that I didn’t get the lipstick, as I would definitely have preferred that over the masks. I like that they included the touch-up kit as well. I am still pleased with the quality of BDJ box, and I still don’t have any reason to stop buying.

As a bonus, BDJ has a contest to receive a full sized item from the White Lucent line. Just use the two Benefiance products and the White Lucent spot serum for six days, and the White Lucent mask on the seventh day. It needs to be well documented, and at least two blog posts written about the experience. As I mentioned, I’ve already started on Day 1. I’m already happy with my first experience, and I will continue to document my experience in the hopes of winning.

Value Review: This BDJ Box contains products that are worth approximately Php2675, not including the face masks (not written in the welcome card) and the voucher value. I paid Php480 for the subscription. I’d say, as always, that BDJ has great value overall.

Image credit: Fabquote.co

Image credit: Fabquote.co

From BecomingSleek

I continue to be surprised at my nail polish finds. Just when I thought I found the cheapest nail polish brands in Sassy and Colour Trends, I found yet a third brand that sells polishes under Php20: OMG (Oh My Golly) brand of polish by Klik. I found this brand in Landmark Department Store (they also carry more shades of Colour Trends).

And what’s this? I also found, in addition to delicious shades of polish, an unassuming bottle of OMG Matte Potion. I have always wanted to try matte polishes, and I have listed Essie’s Matte About You top coat in my wish list. The prohibitive cost and limited availability is what’s stopping me from buying that. I wouldn’t scoff at OMG though, and without hesitation I grabbed this precious bottle.

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That rubber band is to help me unscrew the cap. Tip of the day!

To begin my adventures in matte, I paired it with this delicious OMG shade: Mojito. It’s kind of a bluish emerald, or perhaps a sea green. Of course I always preface any nail attempt with my trusty Caronia base coat.

Before I show you the swatches, I would like to apologize in advance that I was not able to take a shot of OMG Mojito alone. I was so excited to see how the Matte Potion turned out that I didn’t stop to think that I needed to take pictures of Mojito. It’s a lovely wearable shade though, so definitely I will be using it again in the future and will be able to take pictures. Without further ado, the swatches!

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It’s wonderful! The shade turned into a wonderful matte green without lessening the brightness. My nails have gotten a lot of compliments! It’s definitely a keeper, especially since both the Mojito and the Matte Potion are under Php20 each.

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[Preface: Been on an unannounced hiatus for a week, but I’m back! Lots of posts on the backburn, nail posts and reviews coming up. Expecting my subscription boxes soon as well, so there will be unboxing posts scheduled. Thanks for your patience!]

I want to start by saying, I LOVE Saizen. I have always loved their bento materials back when I still had time to make everyday bentos. Now that I’m concentrating on cosmetics and beauty products, I came back to my original love and found great products for my newfound hobby.

I was lucky to catch an end of season sale at Saizen, and I got this Creation Eyeshadow palette for only, get this, Php25! It’s even in the 2013 color, green! This amazingly cheap palette has six pans of eyeshadow, three of which is a shade of green. The other three are a very light baby blue, a taupe/tan, and what is probably white or very pale cream. All shades are shimmery. It also comes with a probably-unusable double-ended brush, and it has no mirror.

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I also got a couple of this Ellefar Princess Chiffon Eyeshadow, a 4-color eyeshadow palette that comes in an attractive black plastic compact with rose details. The first palette is in Twilight, and the shades are (clockwise from top left): a very light pink as a highlighting color, a tan/brown for the crease, a yellowish beige for the lid, and a dark chocolate for either brows or as a liner color. I should also mention that all colors are shimmery, and it doesn’t come with a mirror.

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The second Ellefar Princess Chiffon Eyeshadow palette is in Bronze. The shades are (clockwise from top left): a very light gray or slightly dirty white as a highlighting color, a pale tan for the lid, a black or dark gray for the brows or as a liner color, and a bronze for the crease. Again, all shades are shimmery, and the palette has no mirror. Both of these palettes are the standard Php88.

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Finally, I got a Winmax Nail Lacquer, Nail Sparks variant (#8 shade). It’s a very shimmery candy red shade. It’s also Php88. Here are shots of the bottle, and the swatch (3 layers).

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I’ve used all of the products above and I am generally pleased with all of them. I use the Ellefar palettes regularly, although usually only single colors as the shimmers are pretty strong to use for the office. I really like the Winmax polish, it’s a fun sparkly shade to wear!

Do you shop cosmetics at Saizen? Tell me about it!

I have finally completed the swatches for these San San Nail Polishes that I acquired a few weeks ago.

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Here’s another shot of the San San bottles I bought:

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Amethyst, Arctic Green, Lavender Blush

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Amethyst, Arctic Green, Lavender Blush

The first one I tried is the Lavender Blush. I wore it to a wedding I attended, where I wore a purple dress. I decided that it was an appropriate enough shade. It’s comes on very sheer that I had to use three layers for it to show. It’s a lovely lavender, almost pink, with light shimmers. It was prone to bubbles though, even if I put on a top coat.

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Amethyst is the next one I tried. It’s a very thick (almost goopy) formula, and I only needed one layer. It’s a very deep violet, and almost looks black from certain angles. My husband is not a fan of dark shades, so I removed this a day after I tried it on. There were no bubbles in this shade.

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Lastly, I tried the Arctic Green, which is really a misnomer since it didn’t show as green at all. It’s more of a very light blue, almost aqua. As you may have seen from the bottle shots, it is very similar to Lavender Blush in that it’s sheer. Again I needed three layers here, and again those bubbles showed up.

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Another item from my Dec-Jan BDJ Box that’s used almost everyday is the Flormar Longwearing Lipstick in L35. Here’s the shot from my unboxing post:

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As you can see, it comes in an attractive black plastic tube, with white lettering for the brand and lipstick name. You can’t see it much from these pictures but the bottom and top part of the tube is transparent. Here are a few more shots of the tube:

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The lipstick itself is a sort of bright pink, or perhaps dark rose.

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It may look pretty bright on the tube, but it comes on the lips as an acceptable shade of pink. It’s very wearable, and I’ve actually taken to using it on an everyday basis.

Here’s the swatch on my arm:

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And here’s the product applied on my lips.

Lips with only lip balm on

With Flormar L35 on

With Flormar L35 on

How longwearing is it? Very. It pretty much stays on the lips until I eat or drink. What I found a little strange with this lipstick is that it requires me to put on lip balm first before application. If I didn’t, the lipstick would streak and settle into the lines of my lips. Not really a pretty sight. On the other hand, I almost never go without lip balm anyway, so it’s not really a big issue.

I heard that you can find Flormar products in SM Megamall. This particular lipstick costs Php349.

Pros: reasonably priced; shade suits me

Cons: fades when eating or drinking; requires lip balm underneath


Who is Becoming Sleek?

A Filipino blogger interested in all things makeup, skincare, and nail polish. She may or may not also be interested in crafting, cats, and food.

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