Becoming Sleek

Archive for October 2013

One of the friendliest communities I found online is the Pinay Curvies, and they are holding a #Selfie Challenge this October. I’ve decided to join it! Read this for more info about the challenge.

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Q&A Portion:

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How did you make your #selfie special?

I see myself as a woman of many roles, and I have corresponding faces for each of these roles. As a manager in my company, I present myself as serious and responsible and my clean and office-appropriate makeup and wardrobe reflects such. My manager face is taken during one of my shifts in the office. As a wife and mother, I present a fun and more natural looking face that is ready for anything. My wife/mother face is taken right before a family dinner. Lastly, as a beauty blogger I become more adventurous in the pursuit of learning about makeup and skin care. My blogger face is taken in one of my tutorials on makeup.

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What’s your inspiration for your #selfie?

My inspiration is the beauty blogging world in general, since selfies are a must in beauty blogging. In the almost one year I have been beauty blogging, I have learned so much not only about makeup and skin care, but also about blogging in general and the different supportive communities online. I have learned to be more self confident, and to believe in myself and my capabilities.

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In general, what do you think of #selfies? Do you like it or not?

Selfies, when done right, are a great way of self expression and are definitely a great tool for beauty blogging. I like looking at selfies, especially if I am learning from them.

This is my Halloween special! My inspiration for these eyeballs come from this great tutorial from The Bubbly Brunette. I did nothing new really, I just followed her instructions to the letter.

I used the following for this nail art: Dazzle Dry Base and Top Coats, Dazzle Dry Electrifying, White Lightning, and Forget Me Not, Girlstuff Twilight, BK Nail Dotting Tools and Striper Brush.

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The steps are the following:

  1. Prep the nails with DD Base Coat.
  2. Paint two coats of White Lightning on the nails.
  3. Using the striper brush, paint short red stripes in a radiating pattern using Electrifying. This is going to be the blood vessels.
  4. Using the biggest of the dotting tools, put a big blue circle in the middle of each nail using Forget Me Not.
  5. Using a slightly smaller dotting tool, put a slightly smaller black circle in the middle of the blue circle to denote the pupil, using Girlstuff Twilight.
  6. FInally, using the smallest of the dotting heads, put a small white circle slightly off-center using White Lightning, to denote the reflection.
  7. Apply DD Top Coat.

Here’s the final look!

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Not bad isn’t it? It looks much better in sunlight of course.

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Check out the right hand. The blood vessels are thicker and straighter, because that’s all my nondominant left can handle!

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Happy Halloween!

Last September I was able to take advantage of Etude House’s rare 20% sale event, in celebration of reaching 200,000 likes for their FB page. One of the things on my wish list is the Sweet Recipe Baby Choux Base in #01 Mint Choux (the green one). The green base is for combating redness. Etude House has two other shades of this – the #02 Berry Choux (for pale skin tones) and #03 Peach Choux (for yellowish skin).

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This product originally came in a luxe glass tub with a plastic lid. I think this version has already been phased out, and they only sell the tube version these days. The Baby Choux Base line is meant to be a makeup base and primer, but it can also be used alone (which is how I use it most of the time). My face tends to be red-tinted most days which is why I wanted to get this Mint Choux.

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As you can see, the tube version is actually handier in dispensing the product. It is very similar to most BB cream tubes, with a narrow spout to control the amount of product dispensed. When you first buy it, the tube is sealed for your protection.

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The actual product is very green. When applied onto the skin it still is pretty green, but the point of this is really to combat redness. It’s supposed to neutralize the redness with the green tint, and it should resolve into natural skin tone afterwards.

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Here is my bare face (prepped with skin care). As you can see, the redness is pretty evident on my cheeks and forehead.

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If you check out the initial swipe on the skin, the product is still pretty much green, and might look strange.

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When spread out and blended, it eventually fades into natural tone. It is a little bit light on me, but it can easily be toned down with a finishing powder. The important part here is that it really acts like a primer in that it smoothens the skin and fills in the pores a little bit.

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I would usually just wear this alone since it really evens out my skin and acts almost like a sheer BB cream. It even has SPF25! It has the bonus of smelling really yummy, like some sweet pastry.

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This 25g tube normally costs Php628, but with the sale I only paid Php502.40 for this. It is available in Etude House stores around the metro. Etude House is cruelty free.

Pros: neutralizes redness; smells great; acts as primer+makeup base; reasonably priced; cruelty free

Cons: none really!

Congratulations to Sheela Castillo and Ging Valdez, winners of this giveaway!

Thank you to everyone who joined!

There is a first time for everything! And for me in this case, my first spa experience courtesy of the newly opened Asian Secrets Whitening Spa at SM North The Block (5th Floor). The name sounded awfully familiar, and as I arrived at the venue I realized why: it is the exact same company that gave us the Asian Secrets Lulur Whitening Body Scrub. This product has been making the rounds in the local beauty blogging sphere, and much praise has been given to the product.

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Luckily I was invited to try out their new Whitening Spa, featuring their new product the Asian Secrets Lulur Whitening Facial Scrub. This is basically their version of the body scrub but specifically for the face. I received the signature facial scrub service which included cleansing, scrubbing (with the abovementioned facial scrub), hot compress, mask, moisturizer, and face and shoulder massage. As I was wearing makeup when I arrived they also removed my makeup using remover wipes. All of these lasted for about an hour, after which I was offered hot tea or water as post-treatment drink. Check out the press photos below of the facade, spa hallway, and treatment cubicle.

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As a first timer, my experience could not have been any more soothing and relaxing. I did not know what to expect out of spas, but my attendant Angel was quite forthcoming of all the steps in the treatment and kept a very soothing presence. All aspects of the treatment felt really good, and the products smelled nice. There was relaxing background music of the right level of loudness (which turned into random bird sounds later on), and the light was pleasantly dimmed. Each cubicle has its own treatment table, and I was provided a clean white sheet to cover my chest (I needed to unrobe since the treatment included a shoulder massage). I was also provided a nice cloth-lined wicker basket to store my things while I was undergoing treatment. Perhaps the only thing that I thought weird was since I had the front-most cubicle, the front door recessed into the wall of my cubicle whenever someone entered/exited the treatment areas. It was a little disturbing, but not really experience-breaking.

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All in all I enjoyed my first spa experience! Thank you to Asian Secrets and Marcie Linao for this opportunity. I was even provided an Aquazorb face towel and two tubes of the Facial Scrub so I can continue trying the product at home.

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I am very glad to share this experience with two of my readers! Each of them will receive the Lulur Whitening Facial with Massage (60 minutes) for free! How do you win? Just follow the steps provided in the rafflecopter widget linked below. Take note that the first three steps are mandatory, and not fulfilling those will disqualify you from winning. Make sure to read and follow the rules stated below.

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Rules:

Contest runs from today until November 5 midnight Manila time. The winner will be randomly drawn using Rafflecopter. I will be announcing the winner on this blog as well as on the Becoming Sleek facebook and twitter pages once I evaluate the entries, and will be notified through the provided email address. She/he will be given 48 hours to respond after which I will draw another winner. Readers 18 years old and above are allowed to join. I will ship the voucher to the winner. Philippine addresses only! Check back daily, some of the entries can be done everyday.

Click here to enter the contest!

Good luck!

Disclaimer: The spa service, products, and vouchers were provided for free for my consideration, but I am not required to write about it. All opinions are mine.

A big thanks again to Marcie of Love and Light Productions for the invite!

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Back in August I hauled massively in nail polish, and this Misa Wanderlust in Frozen in Time is one of them. I got this from the sale at Glamourbox Boutique, originally at Php345 and bought for Php249.

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It is a beautiful cornflower blue shade with tiny silver microglitter. It’s a little hard to capture the microglitter, but in person it’s evident (most especially in sunlight). Here are the swatches on my nails.

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The application wasn’t that bad, but the formula is a little thick. It also chipped quite quickly, even with top coat. I am thinking maybe it doesn’t react well with my Dazzle Dry top coat, so I’ll make sure to try it again with a different top coat.

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Welcome to the fifth volume of Saturday Shorts! This week we will talk about exfoliation.

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1. Garnier Light Intensive Brightening Scrub

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It’s pretty surprising to me that this product was used at all, given that my prior bad experience with Garnier Brightening Roll-On (eyes) turned me off the brand entirely. I got this Garnier Light Intensive Brightening Scrub in one of the best BDJ boxes released – the May Fun Fresh Fierce box. At the time I was actually looking for a face exfoliator, and decided to give this a chance since I received it in the box anyway. To my surprise and delight, it actually performed pretty well for me. It properly sloughed off the dead skin on my face, and didn’t leave any red marks. My sensitive skin didn’t react negatively to this treatment as well. As this is a gigantic tube and I only use it at most twice a week, it will take me some time to finish it. It’s rather reasonable at Php140 for this size tube, and is probably available in most supermarkets and drugstores. This will be a mainstay in my routine!

2. Cure Natural Aqua Gel

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This is one of the items I received in the September BDJ box. As I’ve read tons of raves about this product, I naturally had high expectations. And since I’ve been using the Garnier exfoliator for a few months before that, I also have something to compare it to. My verdict: Cure Natural Aqua Gel works as advertised. It does slough off dead skin and turns it into white flakes. Over time, the amount of dead skin/white flakes that the gel creates lessens as the skin becomes renewed and rough patches are smoothed out. Again I only used this at most twice a week, and a sachet is worth about 2-3 uses. My only problem with this is the price. At Php1500 for a full 250ml bottle seems a little too steep, especially given that it’s only used very sparingly. And the fact that the Garnier exfoliator was already doing quite well for me means that I’ll probably skip on the full size of the Cure gel.

3. Glamworks Chin & Forehead Strips

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While not quite an exfoliator, it claims to remove blackheads and unclogs the pores so I felt it belonged in this volume. Again I got the idea of this from The Beauty Junkee, and her review sold me on this product. For just Php99 you get ten strips, each individually wrapped and sealed in foil. You can use each strip either on the chin or the forehead (of course!). The trick is that the place you are applying the strip to should be damp so that the strip will stick to it. After about 15 minutes you can remove the strip and all the bad stuff will come off with it! I love how this feels and my chin/forehead feels so much smoother afterwards. I only use this whenever I feel extra clogged or dirty on my face and need some unwinding, so I have a lot of strips left. This is a definite rebuy, and makes me want to try Glamworks’ other strips. Awesome awesome product!

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My latest Sampleroom haul consisted of the following items: Godiva LicoWhite™ Whitening Lotion with SPF 15 (8 sachets of 6ml each), VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Sport 70 (5 ml sample tube), and The Body Shop Moisture White™ Shisho BB SERUM INSIDE (5 sachets of 1.5ml each). I would like to share with you my impressions of these items so that you can decide whether to get them or not while there are still samples available.

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1. Godiva LicoWhite™ Whitening Lotion with SPF 15

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I am a huge lotion fan, and I didn’t hesitate to grab this when it became available at Sampleroom even if the main draw was the whitening. I didn’t really need the whitening aspect, but what intrigued me was that it was a lotion with SPF. While I could not vouch for the whitening, I can definitely say that I love the texture and scent of this lotion. It also did not irritate my sensitive skin. I can consider adding this to my stable of lotions once I run out. The sample costs 25 points, and the full sized 100ml bottle costs Php120 and is available in supermarkets and drugstores.

2. VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Sport 70

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VMV has always struck me as the epitome of sensitive skin friendly, especially with that Hypoallergenics in the name. Therefore it was a no-brainer to grab this. It’s a sunscreen that comes in a novel tube that comes with its own spatula. I usually put this on my face when the day is unusually hot, but it can also be used for the body. Putting makeup on top of this is not an issue. A little goes a long way for this! The sample costs 50 points, and the full sized 185g/85g tube costs Php2080/Php1500 respectively and is available at VMV counters in malls. It sounds pretty pricey, but take note that the sample is only 5ml and it will take some time to finish!

3. The Body Shop Moisture White™ Shiso BB SERUM INSIDE

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Lastly we have the BB cream sample from The Body Shop. TBS is noted for its mostly cruelty-free products, so I was quite excited to try this out. This Moisture White Shiso variant contains shiso, vitamin C and liquorice, and Community Fair Trade organic aloe vera, and targets hyperpigmentation, improves luminosity and evens skin tone. I like the fact that it has a lot of skincare factor in this face base. The only problem with this is that the shade is too light for my skin tone. There is a distinct white cast, and I definitely needed the help of a finishing powder to darken it back to skin tone. This sample costs 60 points, and the full sized 30ml tube is Php1395.

Bonus! I received a 15% off voucher for the Beauty & Minerals online store! Amazing! Thanks Sampleroom!

I received my first (and only, so far!) lip butter in the July BDJ Box, the Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in the shade Lollipop. It took me quite some time to review and swatch it, and I am now finally able to share it with you.

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The bullet comes with a nice frosted pink cover with a cross hatch pattern, while the actual bullet is silver with a square base. The shade name is found at the bottom.

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The lipstick glides on smoothly and doesn’t tug. It moisturizes the lips pretty well even without the use of lip balm underneath. The lasting power of the color is just average at about three hours, but the moisturizing factor does stay on longer than that.

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When swatched on my lips it comes out a looking a little sheer in the photo, but it’s actually is a lot brighter looking in person. The top part is my bare lips, while the bottom has two layers of Lollipop.

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This lip butter costs Php525 and is available in many supermarkets and drugstores at Revlon counters. Revlon is not cruelty-free.

Pros: attractive packaging; widely available; very moisturizing; shade is a nice bright pink

Cons: a little steeply priced; not cruelty-free

October is breast cancer awareness month, but you already know that. I’m here to show you my nails that I came up with for this theme. Given that I am lately really liking my dotting tools, I featured dots again for this nail art. The nail polishes I used here are Dazzle Dry Heart of Fire and Strawberry Macaron.

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It’s really pretty simple. I painted alternating polishes, and used Heart of Fire for the dots. I wanted to do some sort of crescent design with the dots, with the big ones on the corner and the small dots completing the crescent.

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What do you think?

One of my most favorite items in the Beauty SOS Glamourbox is the only makeup item in it: the Ofra Lipstick in #202.

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It’s supposedly rich in antioxidants and vitamin E, as well as being both a natural sunscreen for the lips and a moisturizer to boot! Talk about multitasking! That’s not even talking about the lipstick aspect of it.

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It comes in a nice matte black plastic tube, with a preview of the color at the bottom and the shade number at the top. It also has the brand emblazoned in the middle.

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It applies matte on the lips as well. One has to be really careful in application and make sure that the lips are well exfoliated prior to putting on the lipstick. Check out the lip swatch. The top is the bare lip, middle is one layer of lipstick, bottom is blotted.

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It lasts for quite some time (about 4 hours) without eating or drinking. It’s non drying at all, and feels wonderful on the lips. I would love to try other shades of this!

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You can buy this lipstick (other shades available!) from the Glamourbox Boutique for Php650. Ofra is cruelty free (Thanks to the Nailinator for the update!) I have no information on Ofra’s animal testing policies.

Pros: wonderful matte red; nondrying; long lasting

Cons: slightly expensive; available online only


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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