Becoming Sleek

Archive for December 2013

One of my great finds this holiday season is this ridiculously awesome metallic gold shade from OMG. It is appropriately named Gold Digger, and is available in Landmark branches. I got this one at Landmark Makati, for the low low price of Php19.75.

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It comes in the usual OMG bottle, with the ingredient information and shade name at the back.

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This is one of the thickest and most pigmented formulas I’ve encountered. It is quite possibly a one-coater, and may not really need a top coat at that. Here’s an indoor shot of the swatch, one coat only and no top coat.

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And here is an outdoor shot. You can see that the middle and ring fingers have a slightly thinner coat, but otherwise this can really be a one-coater. The thick formula may in fact be appropriate for stamping, which I intend to test in the near future.

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Even without a top coat this mani lasted me for about three days without chipping. I’ll be updating this post with a photo of this nail polish with a top coat.

Congratulations to Maricel Fajardo for winning this giveaway! Thank you to everyone who joined and stay tuned for more future contests!

This month marks the first year anniversary of Becoming Sleek! As a big thank you to my wonderful readers that I keep on with this little hobby of mine, I am giving away this prize pack. Most of the items are from my subscription boxes, and some I received from events and contests. There will be one winner.

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Prize Pack Contents:

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  • L’Oreal Paris Fall Repair 3x Anti-Hairfall Shampoo (70ml)
  • L’Oreal Paris Fall Repair 3x Anti-Hairfall Conditioner (70ml)
  • L’Oreal Paris Fall Repair 3x Anti-Hairfall Tonic Leave In (90ml)
  • Vitress Hair Solutions Solenn Hair Cuticle Coat (30ml)
  • 3x Ponds Clear Solutions Anti-Bacterial Facial Scrub With Herbal Clay (5g sample)

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  • Asian Secrets Lulur Indonesian Whitening Facial Scrub (100g)
  • Celeteque Advanced Anti-Aging Anti-Wrinkle Ultra-Hydrating Cleansing Oil (50ml)
  • Celeteque Acne Solutions Oil Control Toner (65ml)
  • Celeteque Brightening Eye Tuck Plus Dark Circles Lightener (15ml)

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  • Fabulosa Gold Fashion Necklace with Wings Pendant
  • Ralph Lauren Big Pony #3 Yellow (1.5ml sample)
  • Essence XXXLshine Lipgloss in True Love

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  • 2x Celeteque Hydration Make-Up Remover Cleansing Facial Wipes
  • Quick FX Pimple Eraser
  • 2x Avon Anew Genics Eye Treatment (1g sample)
  • Parian Spirit Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner Wipe
  • pH Care Intimate Wash in Cool Wind (5ml sample)
  • 2x Shu Uemura Fresh Pore Clarifying Gentle Cleansing Oil (4ml sample)
  • 2x The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream (1.5ml sample)

So 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.

Rules:

Contest runs from today until January 10 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 prize to the winner. Philippine addresses only! Check back daily, some of the entries can be done everyday.

Rafflecopter Link

Good luck and thank you so much for your support!

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Welcome to Part 3 of my ambitious nail polish remover review series, where I attempt to review as much nail polish remover brands as I can. Here is the photo of all the nail polish removers I have.

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For my last installment of my nail polish remover reviews, I am reviewing two Etude House nail polish removers. Both of them are named Nail Removers (but they don’t remove nails, just polish). The pink one is #1 Mild, while the purple one is #2 Extra Power. Don’t you just love Korean naming conventions?

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#1 Mild is their regular nail polish remover. The smell is a little strong, but it removes regular nail polish easily and effectively. This is actually my second favorite after the Dazzle Dry Lemongrass Nail Polish Remover. If I am not mistaken, this bottle contains 100ml of product, and costs around Php98.

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#2 Extra Power on the other hand, as the name suggests, is a much stronger formulation designed to remove glitter polishes. Let me tell you, this is such an awesome find! If you love using glitter polishes but hate the removal afterwards, I urge you to get this and you will never hesitate to use glitter polishes anymore. This remover effectively dissolves the binders in the glitter polishes and makes it easy to wipe away the glitters. You may have to use a bit more product for the more stubborn ones but it does work pretty well compared to regular nail polish removers. This bottle also has 100ml of product, and costs around Php128.

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There you have it! I hope you enjoyed this series and found it useful.

Nail Polish Remover Review Series

A surprise came in the mail for me a few days ago that got me really really excited. Say hello to my very first Belle de Jour Power Planner!

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Isn’t she beautiful? I’ve always wanted to get my own BDJ planner since last year, but I never had the chance to get one. Thanks to BDJ, I get to try this much praised planner for 2014. I received the hardbound version with the iconic BDJ girl illustration in front. There are two more versions available: the executive gray leather and the spiral bound with the BDJ girl illustration. I really like the version I got because it looks very professional and chic, and at the same time it still looks fun!

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Belle de Jour planner has tons of features! Here are my favorite ones.

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My Blog Ideas – This is one of the first feature pages, and it’s already something I can specifically use! No more need for scattered pieces of paper when the inspiration hits me, I can put it all here!

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2014 Goals – Goal setting is very important to make sure that I won’t lose sight of what I want to achieve in life. This page will keep me reminded of those goals, and keep me aligned to the path I want to take.

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Dream Board – I’ve never done anything like this before! I want to see how my dreams develop, and this is such a great place to keep a record of.

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Coupons/Vouchers – I have to say that this is one of the reasons I initially wanted a BDJ planner. The sheer amount of vouchers and the value is just staggering! The nice thing about this is that the selection is mostly something I can use.

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Events Tracker – As someone with many roles to fill, I sometimes overlook some events that I need to set aside time for. This is a great way to keep track of all of them!

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Spacious calendar pages – The main meat of the planner is of course the calendar pages. I am glad to see that it is very spacious and unlined, as I tend to be a little messy when it comes to listing itineraries. My only complaint is, as usual, the weekends are smashed together into one column. As someone who works on weekends, I wanted a planner that have separate columns for Saturday and Sunday. Then again, I’ve never really seen a planner with that specific feature yet.

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Emergency information – Towards the end of the planner, there is a page with a list of emergency numbers. This is always useful and practical, kudos to the BDJ team for including this.

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Stickers and voucher sleeve – Last but not the least, I love this very useful detail. I’m a huge fan of stickers and this sheet is just so fab! The voucher sleeve is very useful as well, and it lets me bring the vouchers without toting the entire planner when I go out.

All in all, I am so happy to have gotten this planner. There is just so much attention to detail that the BDJ team put here, and I can’t help but admire their dedication. Thank you so much for letting me try this!

You can get your own BDJ planner here. The exclusive gray leather version costs Php680, while both the hardbound and the spiral bound with the BDJ girl costs Php598 each. Each order of the BDJ planner comes with the BDJ Lifestyle card which gives access to awesome deals and events.

Disclaimer: I have received the product as a gift from the BDJ team. All opinions are mine and I was not required to write anything about the products.

I have to admit, I am wrong sometimes. Maybe a lot of the time, even. And I am working on being able to openly admit I am wrong and that I have changed my mind. In this case, I am actually glad to be wrong about Physiogel Intensive Cream. I remember saying here before that I am sad having received this in my beauty subscriptions, and in triplicate!

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What changed my mind? It turns out I have been using it wrong. For some reason when I first received it I thought it was a facial moisturizer. Not surprisingly, I thought it was too strong and heavy as a moisturizer and that I received a dud product. It turns out, it’s supposed to be what it says: an intensive cream for the really dry areas of the body.

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Now I have an issue with super dry skin around my stomach area, right where my stretch marks are. This dry skin leads to severe itchiness, and I get angry red stripes and bumps on my tummy because of that. According to a derma I visited, all I needed to do to address this is to apply lotion diligently to the affected area and the itchiness should subside. I used to just use regular body lotion, but I recently realized that I can use Physiogel Intensive Cream for that purpose! And after using it for some time I can report that it works much better than regular lotion!

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Check out just how thick this cream is. It’s really packed with moisturizing powers, and it really works! I fully admit that I had a wrong first impression and I didn’t research enough about this product. I’m happy to have discovered the correct way to use it. This 50ml tube costs a whopping Php574.50! Makes me so glad that I have three tubes of this! A much belated thanks to BDJ Box and Glamourbox!

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You can learn more about Physiogel products here. I don’t have information on their animal testing policies.

Pros: powerful moisturizer for extremely dry parts of the body; reduces itchiness due to dryness; available in many supermarkets

Cons: a little expensive

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Welcome to part 2 of my ambitious nail polish remover review project! To refresh your memory, I plan to review as many nail polish remover brands as I can. Here is the photo of all the polish removers I have.

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I started with three drugstore brands two weeks ago. For this installment I will review the nail polish removers from The Face Shop, Dazzle Dry, and Flormar.

The Face Shop Lovely Me:Ex Nail Remover

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This is the first of my three pink nail polish removers. I got this from one of The Face Shop stores (Trinoma, I believe), for about Php95 if I am not mistaken. This Lovely Me:Ex Nail Remover in 01 Pink bottle has 100ml of product in it, and has a child-proof safety cap. It has a nice floral scent that is not at all offensive to the nose. As you can see from the fluid level, I haven’t used this a lot. It is not that efficient in removing nail polish which is why I don’t use it very often. Contrary to what the name says, it doesn’t remove your nails, but it does remove nail polish. The Face Shop is not cruelty-free.

Dazzle Dry Lemongrass Nail Polish Remover

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Ah, now we come to my favorite nail polish remover. As an avid Dazzle Dry user, it makes sense for me to be using the Dazzle Dry Lemongrass Nail Polish Remover. It does remove DD polishes efficiently; usually it takes only one (and a half, sometimes) cotton rounds to remove polish from all ten fingernails. It also removes other brand nail polishes with only slightly less effectiveness. This 240ml bottle costs Php375, which may seem a bit steep. However as it is very efficient in removing polish, it lasts for quite some time. As you can see I’m just halfway through the bottle, and believe me I use this quite a lot! The scent of lemongrass is admittedly a bit strong, but it doesn’t bother me too much. The product is very gentle and doesn’t dry out the nails and the skin around them. The only disadvantage I see with this is that it can only be ordered online (or maybe from select salons), and sometimes they run out of stock. Dazzle Dry is cruelty-free.

Flormar Nail Polish Remover in Orchid Complex

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Lastly for this installment, I have my second pink nail remover. Flormar Nail Polish Remover in Orchid Complex has 125ml of product, and costs Php149, which is one of my more expensive ones on a per milliliter basis. I think it smells the best of all removers that I have, as the orchid scent smells so good. However it has approximately the same level of removal efficiency as The Face Shop’s. Flormar is available in many SM Malls as well as Watsons branches. I believe Flormar does not test their final products on animals.

Nail Polish Remover Review Series

Great news for us Pinays! Celeteque is releasing their very own Clarifying Shampoo from their newest range in skin care: Hair and Scalp Care!

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Why do we need clarifying shampoos? Over time, the products that we use on our hair such as hair sprays, gels, and leave-on products leave behind residues on our scalp. Like pores, when the scalp is clogged it becomes unhealthy and may cause other issues like itchiness and irritations. Clarifying shampoos aim to remove these residues and unclog the scalp, making it ready for the actual products that will keep the hair healthy. Celeteque, in its bid to address all our skin issues, has come up with its own clarifying shampoo. The scalp, after all, is part of our skin.

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This cute and unique squarish bottle contains 250-ml of product, and will be sold for only Php200. I think this is quite sulit, as you will only be using this at most once a week so this bottle will last you a long time. It’s very safe to use, and has a nice and comforting scent.

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After using this twice already, I can feel that this is going to be a hit! It works just as promised, and basically “resets” my scalp/hair. My current shampoo and conditioner (Dove) seems to be working well again, and as a bonus it feels like I just applied conditioner on my hair when using the clarifying shampoo.

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Thanks Celeteque for inviting me to the launch of the Clarifying Shampoo! Here are some scenes from the launch event.

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With Marcie Linao

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With Tellie, Celline, and Charlene

Celeteque Clarifying Shampoo will be available soon at Watsons branches and other leading supermarkets and department stores.

After a long period of no unboxing, I finally get to do my favorite activity again! Presenting the much-awaited December Glamourbox: Secret Santa! Glamourbox says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, we bring you delightful goodies to jazz up your holidays. Here’s to a glitzy Christmas and more divine beauty discoveries for the New Year!” Let’s see what our holiday box contains!

Warning: Photo-intensive post ahead! [You can click on each photo for a bigger size.]

The welcome card greets us upon unboxing, containing the abovementioned quote.

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Here is the back of the welcome card.

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The very first thing that jumps out at you when you unwrap the paper wrapper is this big and heavy bottle of The Cream Factory Bath Cream. There’s been a recent buzz on this luxurious-sounding (and -smelling!) bath cream and I regret not being able to try this out for myself. Thankfully Glamourbox included it in the holiday box and I am so excited to try this out! I got the Goat’s Milk & Seaweed variant. The full sized bottle (768ml) costs Php699 (this one is 221ml, costing Php201.44) and is available in the Glamourbox Boutique (they have nine variants available!).

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The next thing I noticed in the box is this cute Holika Holika Pure Mellow Multi-Puff. It is similar to the much-raved Beauty Blender sponge and I expect the purpose is the same. According to the welcome card this is to be used for any cream product for the face. It’s very small, and for some reason it smells yummy! I can’t decide whether to try it right away, or to not use it at all as it’s too cute! This full sized puff (25g) is Php265.

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There is another Holika Holika product in the box, a sampler of Face 2 Change CC Cream in Pink Beige. This will be my first CC Cream experience, and I am so excited to see how it differs from BB creams. This CC cream contains hyaluronic acid and argan oil, great for the skin! It also has SPF32! This is probably a 10-ml sample at best (full sized 50ml at Php855) so this tube costs Php171. Other Holika Holika products are available at the Glamourbox Boutique.

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The next biggest item in the box is Avon Fragrance in Only Imagine. Normally I would have been disappointed in getting fragrance in my beauty boxes, but I am making an exception with this one. The bottle of Only Imagine is just too pretty, and it even comes with a cute scrunchie decoration! I’m torn between keeping this to myself or gifting it to someone who likes fragrance more than me. It smells good btw! This full sized 50ml bottle costs Php1500 (wow!). I hope Glamourbox offers Avon products in their Boutique soon!

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A tiny bottle from Zen Zest is what caught my attention next. Strangely enough it’s not a beauty or fashion item. It’s Kitchen Fragrance in Choco Cappucino, a spray fragrance to remove overpowering food scents. I feel a little ambivalent about this, since I don’t cook as often recently. It will come in useful when I do though, so I’m keeping this! I love Zen Zest fragrances in general so I don’t doubt that this will work. This 50ml sample costs Php50 (full size 250ml is Php250). Zen Zest is available in most malls I believe.

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One of my favorite items in this box is the bonus item Fabulosa Necklace, a very simple gold chain with wings pendant. I love wings so this one is just perfect for me! I wore it right away and it looks awesome even with just a tshirt. Fabulosa is a statement jewelry shop in facebook and offers gorgeous necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings. This particular sample necklace even comes with a discount code!

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The second bonus item included in Secret Santa is a pair of skin care samples from Paula’s Choice. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this brand and I look forward to trying these out. I got a Skin Perfecting 1% BHA Lotion (an exfoliant) and a Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel (a moisturizer). Paula’s Choice products can be ordered through their website here.

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Lastly we have a 10% off voucher from Strip It, applicable until January 2014. It can be applied to their sugaring kits and other skin and body care products.

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My impression of the Secret Santa Glamourbox: I really love this month’s box! My favorite items are The Cream Factory bath cream and the Fabulosa necklace, and I don’t at all object to the other items in this box. Most of the brands are new to me (except Avon and Zen Zest)  and I appreciate being able to try them out. Kudos on another great box, Glamourbox!

Value review: The total value of this box is about Php2100, excluding the bonus items (Fabulosa necklace and Paula’s Choice skincare samples) and voucher. This is about three times the subscription cost of Php595, which is a pretty good value. Granted more than half of that is the Avon fragrance, I still think it’s pretty good. Looking forward to the next one!

One of the booths I visited during the Blogapalooza 2013 was BYS. BYS is an Australian cosmetics brand that recently landed in the Philippines. They carry a wide range of makeup products as well as nail polish. Signing up at their booth bagged me a sample of their nail polish. When I got home and investigated the sample, I experienced a happy shock. It was in fact a full-sized bottle of BYS Nail Art Lacquer, of the shade 009 Fuschia Pink!

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This 10-ml bottle has a big black plastic cap that holds a thin striper brush. The shade name is found at the bottom and the ingredient list and other information at the back.

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I immediately tried this out in a nail art. I used Dazzle Dry Strawberry Macaron as base color, and used BYS Nail Art Lacquer to paint straight and even stripes on all my nails. Here is the final look:

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The black handle made it very easy to create stripes. It lent to good control, even for my non-dominant hand. Check out my right hand:

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I have to say that this nail art lacquer makes my stripes look a lot more professional, for both hands! The drying time is fairly fast, and it works well with my favorite base and top coats (Dazzle Dry). Here are some outdoor shots of my nails.

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BYS is cruelty-free. Check out more shades of their Nail Art Lacquers here. BYS is available in SM Beauty and Watsons branches. I don’t know how much the nail art lacquers cost; I will update this post once I find out the price.

Pros: works great as striper; dries fairly fast; works well with Dazzle Dry system; cruelty-free

Cons: none so far


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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