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Still head- over -heels with self-tanners, I was taken aback when I found out that I have no more body scrub! (scrubbing is an essential procedure prior to application of self-tanners). Sweet Jesus, how can I forget that in my shopping list? Frugal mind to the rescue!

Rummaging through the pantry, even my next solution is gone- olive oil. Not giving up, I turned to my last hope- brown sugar mixed with my body wash. Why not?

Vanilla scent and brown sugar- do I smell dessert?

In my previous blog (DIY: Sugar Body Scrub), I wrote that sugar is a good exfoliant as it gently sloughs off dead skin cells. Other alternatives would be ground coffee or salt. For this quickie DIY, I opted to use brown sugar.

Recipe: Mix 10 Tbsp Body Wash of your choice + 8-10 tbsp sugar.
Adjust accordingly. The key is you should feel the granules when you
scrub against your skin, but not to the point of scratching you badly.

Mission accomplished! Happy skin, parading in tan once more.

Want to know the detailed self-tanning procedure? Click here.

Lately, I am loving the bright hues of summer- coral, turquoise, hot pink to name a few. And with my renewed fondness for everything sparkly, I swear by my new favorite eye makeup- of -the- moment: Glitters! I like how it can turn a boring eye makeup to something fab and diva-licious!  The only problem with glitters is that they can be messy during application, especially if you are not using the right tool.

Problem solved. From the same company that brought the blockbuster Shadow Insurance eye primer, Too Faced nailed it again with this Glitter Glue brand! 

2-in-1: Eye Primer+Glitter Glue

Glitter and pigments bond like no other.

It holds the glitters in place until you are ready to take them off. There are two ways you can use this innovative product: (1) On bare eyelids- and since it has a built-in primer, there is no need to apply an eye primer (2) On top of the eye shadow. Depending on the area you want to use it on, a tiny amount is enough to suffice your need.



It dries clear, and it's fast!



Additional Product Information
  • About $18 at Sephora
  • Paraben and phatalates-free

Meet the glitter creeper in action....

Click image to zoom.
Moi using Glitter Glue to hold NYX Glitters in place.
Base eye shadow is from LORAC

My Kissmark Analysis needed no elaboration:

It's a good investment. $18 will go a long way!

FTC: I bought this.

PS. I used this glitter glue in this makeup tutorial, enjoy watching!


Don't you just hate it when your eyeliner smears and you look like a raccoon hunting for food at mid-day? While there are tricks to preserve your eyeliner such as topping it off with an eye shadow, I still think there has to be a way to eliminate this hassle.

Enter Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil. It really is water-proof as there are still traces of it the morning after- yes, despite using eye makeup remover!

Yet another turquoise! This eye pencil is sheen and fun!


It can be used as base for eye shadow too.

Here are some tips to  produce outstanding results with this product: If you have oily eyelids, use an eye primer first,  then apply neutral eye shadow powder. This process will help the pencil glide on smoothly. Finally, top it off with eye shadow powder of the same color. Do the same technique when using this for bottom lash line.

Additional Product Information:
  • Available in 25 shades
  • About $18 (Sephora)
  • Ophthalmologist-tested
  • Made from jojoba wax, cotton seed oil


I created two versions using this eyeliner


Fun, bright, and summery!


Dramatic and smoky

Kissmark analysis

It has variety of colors to suit every skin tone and mood.
Good quality. 

FTC: I bought this.

PS. I used this eyeliner in this tutorial, enjoy watching!


There is a reason why you see all these stacks of nail polishes and travel size makeups as you check out in Sephora. They are meant to lure you to pick up some more goodies. In marketing, you call it impulse purchase. Case in point- myself. I wasn't planning on buying this bad boy the other week but seeing how it stands out from the pack, I gave in. Insane.

Sephora in partnership with OPI, came out with its Blasted collection to target the growing crackle nail aficionados. For the love of abstract art, I was curious to try this ever-inviting shade Turquoise.

At $9.50, is it all worth the craze?


In 15ml 

I followed the instructions to a T. That is- start with 2 coats of any nail polish. Let it completely dry. Apply one coast of "Blasted". Apply top coat for added shine. (I used NYX nail polish Beige on Caffeine as base; LA Girl top coat).

I don't think I missed something in the instruction. It's fool-proof.

If there is something to rave about this product, I would say it's just the color! I was disappointed that it clumps, goopy, and messy. The crackle effect is not as I have expected. The brush is awful.


"Beauty is in the eyes of the Beholder"
I am not a pro in nail art and technique. 

It clumps big time

This ain't crackle finish. And the stains? OMG!

Additional Product Information:
  • Available in 8 shades
  • Sold exclusively in Sephora
  • Tip: use darker "Blast" over lighter colors to maximize the effect.

Kissmark analysis:

I could have gotten the wrong bottle. I'm not impressed.
This is going back to the store.


My lip products changed drastically. Before, it used to be 80 percent lip glosses, now it's almost a split between lipsticks. Not that there is something erratic about it. Wait another quarter, the ratio might be modified again. Call  it a woman thing- and yes, only a makeup junkie can comprehend.

With all the rave on lipstain, a lip product that stains your lips and lasts longer than lipsticks, I was a bit adamant with this marketing gimmickry. I mean, lipstains can be quite unforgiving for rough and cracked lips, a normal occurrence for me even in the slightest change of weather. 

A good friend recently introduced me to NYC Smooch Proof Lipstain 16H, a drugstore brand that costs about $5. Excited to put this product on challenge, I exfoliated my lips to make sure there won't be unsightly chapping. 

Shade: Forever Freesia 491

With felt tip applicator that feels like you're using a pentel pen :-)

If you don't want to be bothered with constant retouching of lipstick and/or lipgloss, then this one is for you. Yes, it stains and stays long. In my case, a good ten hours including mealtime. It glides on smoothly during application. The only issue I had was its tendency to make my lips uber dry after a few hours. T'was a quick fix though as I layered it with my trustworthy Burt's Bees lip balm. As with other felt-tip type applicators, it is best to store it with top (felt-tip) down so it's all juiced-up when you use it.

Additional Product Information
  • Available in ten shades
  • In 3ml 0.10 fl. oz


Love it or leave it? Be the judge.

Moi wearing Forever Freesia Lipstain only

Kissmark analysis

For busy ladies who hardly have time to look in the mirror
and retouch lipstick, this is something for you. 

FTC: I got this as a gift

If I were a Greek Goddess, let me be Aphrodite please. Even just for a day. Oh how I love thee Goddess of Love and Beauty! Pffttt. Back to reality, blog!

To all you my lovely Aphrodites, read ye! Here are products that I recently tried in my search for that quintessential makeup brand. KORRES, a Greek company that markets natural and organic-based cosmetics and skincare have come up with this Holiday in Greece Set (Tinted Moisturizer + Monoi Oil Bronzing Powder). First, let me tell you that this collection wasn't widely advertised that even the Sephora staff (Pearlridge, Oahu, Hawaii) was unsure of the "bundle" promotion. I waited for 20 minutes to have the items scanned and verified- not bad because it gave me more excuse to browse other makeups. Normally sold at $28 each, I paid only $28 for both! A steal it was. 

Holiday in Greece Set:
1. Choose 1 Tinted Moisturizer
2. Pick a complimenting Bronzer

Call it serendipity as I have been wanting to buy a tinted moisturizer that fateful day. And with my recent obsession on anything bronzer, these two were like manna from heaven. 

Available in only three shades (that's the sad part), I wanted to make sure that I choose a tinted moisturizer which is a close match to my skin tone. Still on my self-tanning regimen, my shade matched the darkest of the three- 03 Dark Tan.

Watermelon Lightweight Tinted Moisturizer Oil-free SPF30

The packaging reminds me of a toothpaste.
In 30ml / 1.01 fl.oz

The shade is quite tricky. It looked darker than my skin tone


The lighter shade before 03 (obviously it's 02) is pinkish and
didn't blend quite well on me. 
I have a love-hate feeling for this product. I hate that it is only sold in three shades! It's like the gods and goddesses connived and said "there are only 3 skin tones in the world". I am naturally fair (okay, I self-tanned) but my category fell on the darkest already. I hate that I cannot share what I love about this product to most women because of this limitation. On the constructive side, I loved that it covers like a foundation but doesn't feel like one. It surely isn't heavy, and even if it is labeled tinted moisturizer, it can cover minor blemishes- to my amazement! It also shortcuts my makeup routine because it also doubles as a sunscreen. It is oil-free and the watermelon extracts prevent photo-aging a.k.a wrinkles.

Choosing the bronzer was the easiest part- because there were only two shades available. It's like "are you gonna pick me up or not? to the left or to the right?" I settled for the darkest of the two, 02 nonetheless.

Velvety finish.
Made with Monoi oil (a non-comedogenic natural Tahitian oil), it gives a subtle sun-kissed glow. Call it barely-there -but -it- really- is- there for lack of a better word to describe it.

Pigment is true to the pan.
Dermatologist-tested. Mineral oil-free. Silicone-free.
In 11g / 0.39 oz.


I used both products in this picture, be the judge....

L-R: Me, my dog.
Judge the makeup rendition on the left, lol!

Kissmark Analysis

Since there are only 3 shades available, don't buy the tinted moisturizer online.
Try it inside the store and choose the one that closely matches you. If your skin tone is between light-fair, this could be a good makeup for the summer since it is lightweight. I would say the same thing for the bronzer. Overall, I was happy with my purchases and I have been using these two lately.

I was searching for True Blood but found a clay. Okay before you accuse me of anything gory, I was referring to the limited edition makeup from Tarte, inspired by HBO series' True Blood (Anna Paquin). Too bad, Sephora in Pearlridge Mall (Oahu, Hawaii) didn't have it yet last week. Not wanting to go home empty-handed, I picked up a few makeups and one of them is Natural Beauty. Yes, that's the name of  the shade I got from Tarte's Amazonian Clay Long Wear Blush collection.

5.6g  / 0.20 oz.

With a promise of 12-hour long non-fade blush, I put this glamazon to a rigid test. Having oily skin, nothing quite works for me that long. Did it live up to its claim?

Made from clay in the Amazon River and baked under the sun.

Infused with Vitamins A, C & E and formulated without mineral oil, parabens, petrolatum, sodium lauryl sulfate, could this be the holy grail?

Pigment is true the pan. Now that is fab.

The verdict? It didn't last 12 hours on me. On the seventh hour, it started to fade, and on the ninth, it's practically gone. Not too bad though as my average wear-and-smear with other blushes range from 3-5 hours. What I particularly liked about this product is its true-to-the-pan hue. Being on the conservative side when it comes to blush shades, I found this too bold when I swatched it inside the store (I don't try and apply sample makeups on my cheeks even if they are "sanitized"- not my thing). Lo and behold. A little goes a long way and when you apply it light-handed, it ain't screaming!

Additional Product Information:
  • Cruelty-free
  • In 5.6g / 0.20 oz
  • Available in 8 shades
  • About $25 (Sephora)


Moi wearing "Natural Beauty"






Kissmark Analysis:

I'm gonna get another shade, Yay!


Having oily skin has its advantage- aging is somewhat delayed compared to people with dry skin type. I guess this is a better way of accepting the fact that while I abhor adult acne, I will embrace this flaw- greasiness, that is, yay!

We have heard of moisturizer's benefits, and that it should be part of one's skincare ritual: CTM (Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize). But if you have oily skin like me, would you rather skip the latter?

Debunking the myth. Contrary to popular belief, moisturizers are never about oil but water hydration. Imagine a plant that needs constant watering for it not to dry. Moisturizers hold water on the topmost layer of the skin. They work by slowing down evaporation of skin's moisture which then improves skin's appearance. 

People with oily skin tend to wash their face more frequent thinking that it solves the perennial problem of greasiness. While cleansers remove dirt and grime, it makes your skin dry. By using moisturizers, your skin retains the water and creates an impression of smooth skin.

Not all moisturizers are the same. Use a moisturizer that is specifically formulated for oily skin. That being said, read the label and choose products that are oil-free, non-comedogenic, and water-based.

L-R: The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer SPF 30,
The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream

I like to try and use products that target my needs. The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer SPF30 is a sunscreen and moisturizer in one. I use this when going out, after I tone my face and just before I apply makeup. It offers protection from UVA/UVB rays. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which helps maintain healthy- looking skin. The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream is a moisturizer and mattifier in one. It helps reduce shine. I use it when I am staying indoors. 

The long and short of it- Yes, add moisturizer in your routine even if you have oily skin.

Disclaimer: Although I have worked for a dermatology company, my opinion, training and personal experience should not replace your doctor's recommendation. Remember that my skin type is different than yours. The above products were shown for representation only, they don't fall under "product review" category. I purchased these items.

Don't forget to enter in my Twitter giveaway, click here for details- Tweet,tweet








OFFICIALLY CLOSED


UPDATED AS OF AUGUST 2, 2011- INSTEAD OF WAITING FOR 500 TWEETER FOLLOWERS, I WILL CLOSE THIS GIVEAWAY ON AUGUST 9, 2011. I DON'T WANT TO KEEP YOU FROM WAITING (AND SO AM I). TO THOSE WHO HAVE ALREADY ENTERED OR PLANNING TO ENTER, HERE ARE THE RULES ONE MORE TIME:

1. Follow my Tweeter account, click here: Fabkath36 Tweeter
2. Open international. 
3. Under 18 y/o, you need parental permission. 
4. 1 Winner. I will use classtools.net during the drawing and post the video of the drawing here in my blog.
5. Tweet the following (just copy paste it and tweet right away)
6. For extra entries, tweet once a day from today til August 8. That's equivalent of 7 entries in total plus your previous tweets.


Here are your fab giveaways:


Clinique Makeups, Handmade Feather Earrings, Handmade Necklace
Pink/Black Polka Dot Cosmetic Case

A closer look of the prizes:

Handmade Asymmetrical Peacock Feather Earrings.
Yes, they were handmade by me. Visit my online store,
Kakalina's- click here

Handmade Fab Princess Necklace
Again, handmade by me.
I customize accessories for all occasions, just contact me.


Clinique Long Last Glosswear SPF15/ Think Bronze lipstick (dual end)
Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara (Black)
Clinique lipgloss key chain (mini sizes of Long last glosswear SPF15)
Plus this cute polka dot cosmetic case.

FTC: I am not paid to feature this brand in my giveaway.


Stay fab, Tweet tweet!

As you read this blog, a zit is trying to make a cameo appearance right in the middle of my forehead! Geez, it's that time of the month again when my hormones are enraged. If you are over 20 years old  and you're still struggling with acne, I humbly welcome you to my world.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 80 percent of people in their 20s to 30s suffer from adult acne, 50 percent of which are women. And chances are, if you are battling with pimples in your teenage years, they will most likely resurface later. Seems like a ghost from the past eh?!

So what exactly causes adult acne? 
Genetic makeup is one. If your parents suffered from teenage and adult acne, you are most likely a surefire candidate. Another reason is the fluctuating hormones such as in menstruation and menopause. Pre-menstrual acne is related to hormonal changes (estrogen goes down, progesteron up). This leads to overproduction of oil that blocks and clogs the skin which inevitably results to pimples. In the case of menopause, estrogen drops while the male hormone androgen (yes women have them), in particular, testosterone rises. Overproduction of oil  clogs the pores, while older skin slows down cell regeneration. Add these two factors together and you get acne. Cosmetics is another culprit. Acne cosmetica, a condition related to the use of makeups, skin and hair products, occurs along the hairline, around the lips and scalp. Stress is also a factor, treatment of which is so hard to expound unless we do total paradigm shift. Certain medications like corticosteroids, anti-convulsants and birth control pills can also cause acne. Lastly, lifestyle-related factors such as fondness for sweets (oh that's me!) and junk food disrupt healthy hormonal equilibrium.

Depending on the degree of adult acne, treatments vary from over-the-counter topical medications to prescription drugs. While having oily skin sort of delays wrinkles on my end, it is obvious that adult acne (occasional breakouts, mild-moderate type) and open pores are my foes. Products come and go but somehow this over-the-counter triumvirate made in to my go-to list. 

Caveat: The following are all based on my personal experience. Note that my skin type is different from yours so what works for me may not for you. There are no overnight solutions to adult acne. For severe cases of adult acne, consult your family doctor or dermatologist.

All drugstore/ over-the-counter pimple fighting remedies

Skincare starts with a clean face, needless to say. Every now and then I try a new facial wash and leave my mid to high-end regimen temporarily. (like you I fell into several traps of equating expensive products with better results only to realize that not all products are made the same). With new and improved packaging, St. Ive's Apricot Cleanser seems to have worked with my skin type. It is oil-free, not tested on animals, and does not have parabens and phtalates. The addition of salicylic acid in its formulation helps control blemishes while the apricot extract micro-beads slough off dead skin cells. It is quite creamy in texture with a hint of a medicated scent- so if you are sensitive to fragrance, this might turn you off a bit.

In 6.5 oz  net wt. / 184g

I use this day and night.
With a pea-sized amount, I massage this  over my face for about a minute.
No to red face:
Tiny micro- beads are dispersed enough not to turn your
face red after rinsing.

An advocate of all-things natural, I am drawn to use products that are at least 95% natural. A good toner that seems to deliver its claim is Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions, a clarifying toner that is 99.5% natural. Its active ingredient is 1% salicylic acid. Salicylic acid helps control pimples by exfoliating or removing dead skin cells. Remember that pores clogged with debris lead to acne. The natural ingredients listed in the bottle include willow bark, a medicinal plant with anti-blemishing properties, and witch hazel, a shrub with known anti-bacterial action. 

In 5 fl oz/ 145ml
I use this twice a day, after washing my face.
With a cotton ball, I apply it to my face and neck.
As with other products, stop using when you experience irritation.

The above products are preventive measures. But in days my zits can't help but say hello, I turn to topical spot treatments like Benzoyl Peroxide 10%.  Benzoyl peroxide is indicated for mild to moderate cases of acne. It works as an antiseptic that kills p. acnes, (an anaerobic bacteria that thrives with little or no oxygen) by providing oxygen to the follicles (Imagine vampires lurking in the dark and then get killed when light or sun strikes them- wow, what at analogy!). Benzoyl peroxide comes in different strengths, 2.5%, 5% and 10%. The higher the concentration, the higher the drying effect (a very common side effect of 10%). With that in mind, 2.5% offers lesser chances of skin irritation. Discontinue using if you experience rashes or allergy.

Let the truth come out:
Most high end topical acne medications are made from Benzoyl Peroxide.
Check the label next time.

It does not offer overnight relief but you will see your zits disappear
in 3-4 days. I apply this bad boy at night time (in affected areas).
In case of dryness, I apply an oil-free moisturizer then I proceed
with my makeup routine in the morning.

Disclaimer: Although I used to work for the marketing department of a dermatology/pharmaceutical company, my opinion, experience, and personal preference should not replace your doctor's recommendations. I will not be held liable for results that you found undesirable. I purchased these products.


Watch my video version:

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